Ruth Rogers’ pheasant and pomegranate salad

Rose [Gray, co-founder of the River Café] and I first ate this at the wonderful Ristorante da Cesare in Rome. It is a delicious alternative to whole roast pheasant. With a game bird, sweet pomegranate and bitter leaves, it has all the ingredients of winter.

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4


1 whole pheasant, roasted and cooled

2 lemons, juice

3 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

2 pomegranates

50g cooked and peeled chestnuts

2 heads white chicory

1 head red chicory

2 x 80g packs prosciutto crudo


1. Carefully take the breast meat off the cooked pheasant and cut it into 2cm pieces. Pull away the leg meat, discarding any tough bits, and cut it into 2cm pieces. Put all the meat in a bowl, season and add 2 tbsp lemon juice, the vinegar and 2 tbsp oil; set aside to marinate.

2. Meanwhile, cut open the pomegranates and pull out the seeds. Place in a separate bowl, season, add a squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tbsp olive oil, and set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 150 ̊C, gas mark 2. Put the chestnuts on a baking tray, cover with foil and warm through for 10 minutes. Set aside, covered with foil to keep warm.

4. Separate the chicory leaves, then mix with most of the pomegranate seeds and divide between serving plates, adding more lemon juice and oil to taste. Arrange the slices of prosciutto on top, then add some of the marinated pheasant and the warm chestnuts, broken in half. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and scatter over the remaining pomegranate seeds to serve.