Philippa Davis' warm partridge salad with crispy Parma ham works surprisingly well with a splash of vodka - guaranteed to keep spirits high this season

This warm partridge salad with crispy Parma ham by Philippa Davis has a surprise kick. The secret splash of vodka is guaranteed to get everyone in the spirit of things at a supper party.

Partridge adds a great, gamey twist to salad. Try partridge breast caesar-style salad for an unexpected twist on a classic. And warm game will make any salad a fantastic shoot lunch offering. Our warm grouse, plum, blue cheese and walnut salad also makes a fantastic supper party starter.


This pretty starter will certainly kickstart your dinner. Don’t be tempted to overdo the vodka or the dish will taste harsh. If you don’t have vodka, gin or tequila also work well.

Serves 2 as a starter

Partridge marinade

  • 1 tsp vodka,
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 partridge breasts, skin on

Salad dressing

  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp vodka
  • 1 tsp grain mustard
  • 1 tsp honey


  • 125g celeriac, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 2 slices Parma ham
  • 50g roughly chopped watercress

To prepare, whisk the marinade ingredients together with salt and pepper then place the breasts, flesh side down, in the marinade. Leave in the fridge to marinate for no more than 1 hour.

For the salad, whisk the dressing ingredients together and season; stir in the celeriac and leave for 1 hour. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Place the Parma ham on a baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes; peel off and leave on a rack to cool and crisp up.

To assemble the salad, in a frying pan on a high heat, cook the breasts both sides for 2 minutes then pour in any remaining marinade. Take off the heat.

Meanwhile, mix the watercress through the celeriac and pile onto your serving dish with the Parma ham. Slice the breasts and lay them on top and pour over any pan juice.