A light dish for summer but still hearty enough in the winter months, this warm pigeon salad with bitter leaves is versatile and delicious

Warm pigeon salad with bitter leaves is a fantastic supper at any time of year. It is light enough for the summer months but the warm pigeon breasts add heartiness and comfort perfect for winter. If you’d prefer to not use cob-nuts, hazelnuts make a great alternative. Try Drew Ackroyd’s recipe for warm pigeon salad with bitter leaves and cob-nuts.

The grey grouse makes delicious salads, and with spring being prime pigeon shooting time, you need plenty of inspiration to use up the birds. If you enjoyed this warm pigeon salad with bitter leaves and cob-nuts, try our pigeon and blue cheese salad with russet dressing. It makes a lovely starter, or even a light main course for the warmer months. If you still have some pigeon breasts to use up, try our pigeon pate recipe. Simple to make and with a delicious, fine texture, it is perfect for picnics.


Serves 4

  • Handful of skinned cob-nuts (or hazelnuts)
  • 1 tbsp best olive oil
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut oil
  • Zest of 1⁄2 orange
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 8 pigeon breasts, skinned and seasoned
  • Butter for frying
  • Selection of bitter leaves – endive, radicchio, dandelion, sorrel, chicory

To make this warm pigeon salad with bitter leaves, first roast the nuts in a hot oven for five minutes until starting to brown. Remove from the oven, roughly chop and then set them aside.

Make the dressing by combining all the other ingredients and whisking ferociously. Cook the breasts in a little butter for 20 seconds each side in a hot, heavy pan. Allow to rest while covered for a minute, then slice the pigeon breasts diagonally and toss with the leaves, dressing and nuts. Be generous.

Serve the warm pigeon salad with bitter leaves and cob-nuts with chilled fleurie in summer or white burgundy in the colder months.