Roast Partridge with Salsa Verde, Buttered Cabbage and Beluge Lental


For the Partridge
4 oven-ready partridges
4 rashers of bacon
olive oil for cooking
sea salt and ground black pepper
50g butter

For the lentils
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely diced fennel
2 tablespoons finely diced carrots
2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup beluga lentils
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Coarse salt to taste

For buttered cabbage
1 savoy cabbage (2 pounds), cut crosswise into
1-inch strips, thick ribs removed
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the salsa verde
1 tablespoon capers
2 anchovy fillets
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
coarse salt to taste


For the Lentils
In a sauté pan or shallow saucepan, with a little butter add the garlic, fennel, carrots, shallots, and thyme. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly softened. Add the lentils and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, or until heated through. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. If the liquid evaporates before the lentils are fully cooked, add water in small increments. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the Partridge
Heat the oven to 350 F. To prepare the partridges, wrap the bacon rashers around the back of the partridges and tie with string (but not too tightly). Heat a non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Season the partridges all over with salt and pepper and place in the pan. Turn the birds as necessary over the heat for 3–4 minutes until
they start to take on a lovely golden colour. Add half of the butter, allow it to melt and foam, then spoon over the birds to baste them. Once the birds are coloured all over, put the pan into the oven. Roast for 8–10 minutes until the partridges are just cooked. Transfer the birds to a warm plate and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

For the buttered cabbage
Place cabbage in a large skillet with 1 cup water (skillet will bevery full). Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet; simmer until cabbage is very tender, tossing occasionally
12 to 15 minutes. Pour out any water remaining in skillet. Add butter; season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.

For the salsa verde
Meanwhile, make the salsa verde. Rinse capers in cold water drain. Using a mortar and pestle (or a small mixer if you are in a hurry), smash the capers, anchovies and garlic with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add all the herbs and remaining olive oil. (The mixture should be chunky, not oily.) Season with sea salt. Serve the partridge topped with the salsa verde, and garnish with your beluga lentils and buttered cabbage