Recipe: Smoked wood pigeon salad with pickled watermelon and Feta cheese

Celebrate autumn with this seasonal salad from Derek Johnstone at Borthwick Castle

20 mins
Published: October 10, 2017
Categories: ,

For the wood pigeon


  1. Remove the skin and sinew from the pigeon breast.
  2. Season lightly with the salt, pepper and oil
  3. Light the wood chips in a house hold smoker and once the chips are smoking place the pigeon in on a cooling rack
  4. Cold smoke the pigeon for 10 minutes
  5. Remove from the smoker and pan fry for 1 minute on each side
  6. Allow to rest the carve into thin slices


For the salad:


  1. Pick the salad leave and wash then spin dry
  2. Slice the ciabatta into thin croutons and cook in the oven at 150 oc for 10 minutes or until golden brown
  3. Skin the water melon and dive into 1cm cubes
  4. Dice the feta cheese into 1cm cubes
  5. Shave the radish finely on a mandolin or with a very sharp knife


For the sweet pickle:


  1. Boil all of the ingredients together and reduce slightly
  2. Allow to cool and use to dress the watermelon and salad leaves


For the Feta cheese dressing:

Recipe: Hogmanay steak pie

Method :

  1. Boil the cream and milk together.
  2. Add the cheese and melt
  3. Place into a food processor and blitz until smooth
  4. Allow to cool and used as a base for the plate


To assemble the salad:

On the plate spread a small amount of the feta cheese puree

Dress the leaves and melon with the pickle and build it on top of the feta puree.

Autumn recipe: Halloween pumpkin soup

Add the dice melon and feta cheese then the slices of smoked pigeon.

Drizzle a little more pickle over the top of the salad and serve

wood pigeon
Picture: Borthwick Castle smoked wood pigeon salad, Derek Johnstone



  • For the wood pigeon:
  • 4 Wood Pigeon Breasts
  • 100g Wood Chips from whisky oak barrels
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Rapeseed oil
  • For the salad: 
  • Allow 50g of salad leaves pre portion
  • Frizzy lettuce
  • Red Radicchio
  • Lambs leaf
  • Shaved Red Breakfast radish
  • 100g Ciabatta bread
  • 100g Watermelon diced
  • 80g Feta Cheese diced
  • For the sweet pickle:
  • 100mls White wine Vinegar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 small sprig of rosemary
  • ½ red chilli mild (seeds removed)
  • 2g runny honey
  • For the Feta cheese dressing:
  • 50 mls Double cream
  • 50 mls Semi Skimmed Milk
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 5g Honey
Copyright ©2023 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crosslistchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram