Prue Coats' parmesan pheasant recipe is perfect for a romantic dinner for two. Easy to prepare it is zingy and delicious, and a superb way to use up old ends of parmesan

My daughter, Lucy, adapted this from one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes in Ministry of Food. It’s great for using up old ends of parmesan which usually get thrown away – and she says that the bit where you bash the breasts flat with a frying pan is therapeutic. Both adults and children adore this; it’s like a sort of pheasant saltimbocca (translating as “jumps in the mouth”).

It is probably one of the easiest of the top 10 best pheasant recipes to make, and ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the rest of the bird.

PARMESAN PHEASANT BREASTS WITH CRISPY HAM

Serves 4

  • 4 pheasant breasts
  • Black pepper
  • 4-6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 100g (31⁄2oz) grated parmesan (if you are using old ends, grate in a Magimix)
  • 8 slices prosciutto crudo or air-dried ham
  • Good olive oil

Carefully score the underside of each pheasant breast in a criss-cross fashion with a small, sharp knife. Lay the breasts side by side on a large chopping board (or do this in two lots of two). Season each with pepper.

Combine the chopped sage and parmesan and sprinkle evenly over the pheasant. Lay two slices of prosciutto on each breast, overlapping them slightly, and drizzle with good olive oil. Now, cover the breasts and board with a layer of cling film, take a frying pan and whack them until they’re about 1cm thick.

Heat a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat, then carefully transfer the breasts to it, putting them in ham-side down. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the top. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, giving an extra 30 seconds to ensure the ham is crispy.

Serve with lemon wedges and a crisp salad for a lighter dish or new potatoes dressed with olive oil and mint. Great cold picnic food, too.