Pigeon with aubergine salad and broad beans

Serves 4

This is pigeon with a Mediterranean twist. It will make a starter if you're using half a pigeon, or a main course if you use the whole bird.

2 oven-ready wood pigeons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A couple of knobs of softened butter
2tbsp olive oil
A good pinch of paprika
120g podded weight of broad beans (remove the skins from any large ones)
A few sprigs of coriander

For the aubergine salad

3 large aubergines
1tbsp olive oil
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1tbsp yoghurt
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a grill or barbecue and cook the aubergines until the skins are completely burnt, turning them around every so often. Leave the aubergines to cool, then cut them in half and scoop out as much of the flesh as possible, scraping near the skin.

Roughly chop the flesh and transfer to a bowl. Heat the olive oil in a pan with the chilli and garlic for a minute over a low heat, then add to the chopped aubergine with the yoghurt and lemon; season and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 240C/gas mark 8. Rub the pigeon with butter and season well. Place them in a roasting tray and roast for 12-15 minutes, keeping them nice and pink; then leave them to rest.

Remove the legs from the pigeon with a sharp knife; carefully remove the breasts. Meanwhile, gently heat the broad beans in the olive oil with the paprika and season. To serve, spoon the aubergine salad onto warmed plates, cut each breast in half and arrange on the aubergine with the leg. Spoon the broad beans and oil over and scatter with some coriander.