Warm squab, duck and cherry salad

Baby beetroot, cherries, horseradish and peppery watercress make a match for game birds in Jeremy Lees stunning salad
By Jeremy Lee
Warm squab, duck and cherry salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 large knob butter
  • 2 squabs, (or wood pigeons)
  • sea salt
  • 1 Goosnargh duck
  • 2 handfuls baby beetroot
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, preferably Forum Sauvignon
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp Dijon mustard, preferably Maille
  • extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1 large handfuls plump black cherries, stones removed
  • 1-2 handfuls watercress
  • 1 handfuls mesclun, (mixture of young salad leaves)
  • 1 sticks fresh horseradish


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Rub the butter all over the squabs (or wood pigeons). Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Place on a roasting tray and roast for about 10 minutes, or until cooked all the way through (but still pink on the inside).

2. Put the duck on another tray, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste and roast at the same temperature for 25-30 minutes the meat should be cooked all the way through, but still pink on the inside.

3. Remove the duck and squabs from the oven and leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/Gas 4.

4. Scatter some sea salt on a baking tray and arrange the beetroot on top. Roast the beetroot for 30-40 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and peel (you may wish to use gloves to peel the beetroot to avoid staining your hands).

5. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar with the sugar and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Whisk in the mustard and enough olive oil to make a dressing.

6. Cut the beetroots into rough shapes and toss them in the dressing.

7. Remove the meat from the birds and shred (slice) the meat thinly. (The bones can be used to make stock.)

8. Tip the meat, cherries, watercress and mesclun into the bowl containing the beetroot and toss together. Grate the horseradish over the top and serve.

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