Salad of Wood Pigeon with Yorkshire Blue Cheese, Warm Cobnut and Russet Dressing and Greengage ‘Spritzer’

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Preparation info

  • Starter - Serves

    four

    • Difficulty

      Medium

    • Ready in

      50 min

Appears in

Loose Birds & Game

Loose Birds & Game

By Andrew Pern

Published 2010

  • About

A LIGHT SALAD AS A STARTER OR MAIN COURSE FOR LATE AUGUST/EARLY SEPTEMBER, WITH THE YORKSHIRE BLUE, A SOFT BLUE CHEESE MADE LOCALLY BY JUDY BELL AT NEWSHAM GRANGE, NEAR THIRSK, COMBINED WITH THE SHELL COBNUTS AND NEW SEASON RUSSETS GIVE A ‘WALDORFESQUE’ FEEL TO THE DISH. AS A LITTLE TIPPLE, WE ADD THE SPRITZER MADE FROM OUR HOMEMADE GREENGAGE GIN AND A LITTLE SPARKLING MINERAL WATER SERVED IN A SHOT GLASS, ON ICE. VERY LIGHT, VERY NICE!

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 4 wood pigeon breasts
  • a little oil for frying
  • 150 g Yorkshire Blue cheese, crumbled
  • 50 g cobnuts [or hazelnuts], shelled
  • 100 g of mixed leaves and herbs
  • 2 russet apples
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 10 ml white wine vinegar
  • 5 g grain mustard
  • 5 g caster sugar

    Method

    For the greengage spritzer, first poach the plums in 200 ml of water and the sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce by half. Leave to cool and infuse, then pass through a strainer. Add the gin, then soda water to the required strength.

    To Make the Dressing

    Mix together the sugar and white wine vinegar until the sugar dissolves. Add a little mustard and the olive oil, then whisk to emulsify. Peel and chop the russet apples into small dice and add to the dressing. Heat the cobnuts in the oven at 150°C and keep warm. Just before serving, mix the salad leaves, herbs and Yorkshire Blue cheese in a bowl. Add the cobnuts to the dressing, then add the dressing to the bowl and combine with the leaves and cheese. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add a little oil. Season the pigeon breasts and pan-fry for approximately 1 minute per side, turning as you go to colour on all sides. Once cooked, set aside to rest and keep warm.

    To serve, place a handful of the ‘salad’ into a small serving bowl or onto a small plate. Slice the pigeon breast and arrange on top. Serve with a couple of wedges of cheese and a few herbs. Add the soda water to the greengage gin and serve the spritzer next to the salad.

    Note The gin can be done in bulk year upon year, using the same ratios, much the same as you would make sloe gin, depending upon availability and storage space (and gin!!).