A perfect autumnal salad with a complex and earthy taste from Kevin Dundon.


  • 2 parsnips cut into ribbons with a mandolin or potato peeler
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 tblsp olive oil
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 50 g (4 tbsp) butter
  • 4 wood pigeon breasts
  • 100 g (3.oz) smoked bacon, finely sliced
  • 4 tblsp white balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • 200 g (7oz) salad leaves or greens


  • Heat some oil to 140°C (285oF) in a large saucepan or deep-fat fryer. Deep-fry the parsnip strips for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove them from the fryer and pour the crisps (chips) into a bowl lined with kitchen paper (paper towels).
  • Sprinkle with salt and curry powder and set aside.
  • Prepare the dressing. Put the lemon juice, garlic and olive oil into a small bowl and season with salt and black pepper. Mix well.
  • Heat a pan over a high heat until it’s hot, then drizzle in 1 tbsp sunflower oil and add the butter. When it foams, add the pigeon breasts and season well with salt and black pepper. Cook them for about 90 seconds on each side, then remove and set aside.
  • Tip out the excess oil then add the bacon.
  • Sizzle the bacon for a couple of minutes, then remove and drain it on kitchen paper. Set aside.
  • Put the pan back on the heat and pour in the balsamic vinegar. Reduce this down to about 2 tbsp of liquid, and then return the pigeon breasts back into the pan to coat them in the sauce.
  • Place the salad leaves in a mixing bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Mix well and season with salt and black pepper. Place a handful of salad in the middle of 4 large plates and the bacon around the edges.
  • Slice the warm pigeon breasts into about 6 thin slices (the flesh should be pink throughout ) and lay on top of the salad leaves.
  • Drizzle over some reduction from the pan and place a few crisps of parsnip on top.
  • Serve immediately.


Kevin says, "This is the perfect autumnal salad. Wood pigeon is a small game bird that is high in protein and, thanks to the diversity of its wild diet (seeds, acorns, buds, berries, green crops), it has a wonderful complex earthy, woodland taste."