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Wood Pigeon salad with blackberries and hazelnuts

Thank you to our friend Niall for supplying us with fresh Wood Pigeon breasts and double thanks to him for all the plucking and butchery which were done by the time we arrived home! So on a glorious summer evening we put together this little salad. This would work well with other berries and nuts too; walnuts especially come to mind.

Wine Suggestion: This works great with Pinot Noir, in this case we raided our cellar for a bottle of 2009 Clerget Vosne Romanee “les Violettes” which was superb; all velvety spices, juicy dark fruits and excellent length. Both the salad and wine were a treat.

Wood Pigeon Salad with Blackberries & Hazelnuts – serves 2

  • 2 pigeon breasts, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon  mustard
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 bunch chives, half snipped to short lengths and half finely chopped

For the salad:

  • handful of hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 large handfuls of mixed salad leaves
  • small handful of parsley leaves
  • 100g blackberries

Toss the pigeon in the olive oil and some black pepper, then set aside.

Mix the oil, mustard and vinegar with the finely chopped chives, a tiny splash of water and some seasoning.

Dry fry the hazelnuts, then set aside. Put the pan back on the heat and fry the pigeon breasts for 2-3 minutes on each side. Leave to rest in the pan for 5 minutes.

Toss the salad ingredients together with the sniped chives and a small amount of the dressing. Finely slice the pigeon breasts and arrange over the top. Drizzle some more dressing over the top and serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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