Serve game to start this Christmas with Philippa Davis' warm partridge salad with pear, brandy and walnuts in parmesan bowls


Add a game twist to your festive table with Philippa Davis’ warm partridge salad with pear, brandy and walnuts in parmesan bowls. This impressive starter is laced with spirit and spice, making it perfect for this time of year.

Partridge is a super bird to introduce newcomers to game. Our top 10 best partridge recipes feature family suppers, festive spreads and enough flavour and spice to have the uninitiated coming back from seconds.


Serves 8

Parmesan Bowls

  • 320g Parmesan, grated on the large side of the grater


  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 100g yogurt
  • 100g mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • ½ tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley


  • 3 pears, cored, not peeled, and cut into eighths
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 8 partridge breasts, seasoned
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp brandy

To serve

  • 4 heads of chicory, 4 leaves of which should be finely shredded
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 160g toasted walnuts

For the parmesan bowls, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

On lined baking sheets, make 8 x 15cm circles of parmesan.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until light golden then drape over a greased small up-turned bowl. Leave to harden.

For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together and season.

For the partridge and pears, in a large frying pan on a medium heat gently caramelise the pears on all side in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the pan.

In the same pan sear the partridge on both sides for a couple of minutes with a tablespoon oil, they should still be pink in the middle.

Return the pears add the honey and brandy then turn off the heat.

Slice each partridge breast into five.

To serve, place one Parmesan bowl on each of 8 serving plates.

Place a few chicory leaves on top and divide the walnuts and pears between them.

Place a sliced partridge breast in each bowl with some of pan jus, drizzle with a little dressing and top with the extra shredded chicory and chives.