Warm salad of partridge, white dandelion, cobnuts and grapes

Serves 4

1 grey or red-legged partridge, cleaned
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
5tbsp good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
The peel and zest of one lemon
2 celery stalks, trimmed
A handful of white dandelion
A handful of rocket leaves
A handful of trevisse
15-20 grapes
A handful of cobnuts

For the vinaigrette

1tbsp Dijon mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1tbsp caster sugar
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare your bird 24 hours ahead of time. Grey-legged partridges are more delicious than their red-legged cousins. Like other game, an early salting will improve the juiciness and texture and give time for the seasoning to diffuse into the meat. Allow a tablespoon of good-quality sea salt for each bird. Salt evenly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Wipe off any excess salt and do not re-season before cooking.

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Place the partridge on a roasting tray and drizzle with the oil. Turn the birds to coat once or twice, then place on the middle rack of the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until the juices from the thigh run clear when pierced. Remove, cover loosely with foil and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.

For the vinaigrette, place the mustard in a bowl, season, add the sugar and vinegar, stir and then whisk in the olive oil.

To assemble the salad, place the salad leaves, white dandelion and celery in a bowl and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Spoon over a couple of teaspoons of the vinaigrette and toss lightly. Tear the warm partridge meat from the carcass using your hands. Toss through the leaves.

Add the grapes and cobnuts. You will need to add a spoonful or two more dressing but don't saturate the dish, it is important to let the ingredients speak for themselves. Serve while the partridge is still warm.