Salad of partridge escabeche, walnuts & figs

Salad of partridge escabeche, walnuts & figs

At the table

By
From
Basque
Serves
4
Photographer
Laura Edwards

You’ll find walnuts all over the Basque Country, they are so good. The first time I saw one, it really surprised me as they are a lot smaller than the ones we are used to in Extremadura.

I love the combination of the really fresh walnuts and fresh figs, but if you can’t get fresh figs, dry ones will work very well too.

Escabeche is a way of cooking using vinegar to give a lovely flavour. It also preserves the ingredients a little so they keep longer. If you can, cook the partridge two days before and keep it in the fridge – the bird will take on more flavour from the escabeche.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil
2 whole partridges
or 4 partridge breasts
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
5-6 sprigs thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
150ml sherry vinegar
250ml white wine
100g walnut halves
1 frisee lettuce, washed and leaves separated
6 ripe figs, quartered
extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Method

  1. Heat some olive oil in a large casserole dish. Season the partridge and brown all over, then set aside. Add the vegetables to the pan and cook for 10 minutes until tender, then add the garlic and herbs. Return the partridge to the pan and splash in the vinegar. Bubble for a minute before adding the wine. Cover and cook gently for 45 minutes until the partridge is really tender.
  2. If the sauce is still very juicy, take the partridge out to rest and bubble the sauce away until it just coats the vegetables.
  3. Toast the walnuts in a pan until lightly golden, then tip onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick silicone or baking paper.
  4. Once the partridge has rested for at least 10 minutes, carve and shred the meat and toss with the vegetables and frisée lettuce. Pile onto plates and top with a few walnuts and fig quarters. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve.
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