seared goose liver on toast with dark berry drizzle and shallot rings

Don’t throw out those wild goose or duck livers! Searing them on high heat until just pink in the middle makes for a delicious snack, especially when paired with this Nannyberry and aged balsamic vinegar glaze and pickled shallots. Nannyberries can be harvested in the fall when they turn a dark blue/black. This recipe can be just as easily done with chicken, turkey, or farmed duck livers from the store. 

ripe nanyberries on the bush


  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time20 min
  • Ready in20 min


For the Pickled Shallots

  • 1 shallot
  • 1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar

For the Sauce

  • 1 cup freshly harvested nannyberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of salted butter

For the Toasts

  • 1 slice of baguette, small bread, or cracker per 1/2 liver
  • Wild goose or duck liver(s)*
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Nannyberry glaze
  • Pickled shallots
  • Microgreens for garnish (optional)


For the Pickled Shallots


Slice a peeled shallot into rounds. Using your fingers, gently break the whole rounds into individual circles. Scatter the rounds into a bowl and cover with vinegar. Set aside. 

For the Sauce


Put rinsed nannyberries and water into a saucepan and bring to a rolling simmer. 

Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring and squishing the berries with a fork to get them to turn into a pulp. Add more water in small increments if mixture begins to get too dry. 


After about 10 minutes, pour the contents of the pot into a sieve over a bowl.

Using the back of a spoon, press the pulp through the sieve, working in a circular motion. Scrape the seeds and skins around the sieve until no more juice comes through. 


nannyberries being passed through a sieve  


Pour the resulting juice back into the rinsed out saucepan, then add sugar and vinegar.

Bring to a simmer and reduce the sauce until it begins to look thick and silky.

Take off the heat and add the knob of butter, swirling it in until it is melted and incorporated. 

Set aside while you complete the rest of the recipe.

For the Toasts


Add the butter and oil to a cast iron pan and bring it up to medium high heat. 

Add the bread slices and cook on one side until lightly charred and crispy.

Remove from the pan and set aside. 


Add more butter and oil to the pan if it is dry. Raise the heat to high. 

Cut the liver(s) in half. One 1/2 will go on each toast.

Generously salt and pepper the livers, then sear them on both sides for about a minute per side. You want them to be a little pink in the middle when done. You can cut into one a little bit to make sure! 


Remove the livers from the pan and place one piece on the charred side of each piece of toast.

Using a spoon or a squeeze bottle, drizzle the nannyberry sauce over the entire piece of toast and liver, as shown in the picture. Top with a few pickled shallot rounds, flaky salt, and microgreens (or parsley) if using. Enjoy!

*Feel free to use any store bought poultry liver for this recipe

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