During a recent trip to Jordan we were shown a pigeon tower. As there was not much local meat to be found in the desert, pigeons were used when a feast was required. Mmm pigeon I thought…Keeping with the Middle Eastern flavours I wanted to use Persimmons. This recipe also uses sumac, the dried red berry and of course pomegranates which were on every street corner.

Serves 4
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200 g cooked chickpeas
60 g picked  parsley leaves
2 heads red chicory
seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
75 g roughly chopped walnuts
4 fuyu persimmons , peeled and sliced
4 pigeon breasts

2 tbs pomegranate molasses
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp sumac
Juice of 1/2 a lemon


In a big bowl whack together the dressing ingredients with a little salt and pepper. Toss the chickpeas in the dressing and leave to absorb the flavours while you cook the pigeon.

Season the pigeon breasts with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Sear them in a frying pan on a medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side.  Leave to rest covered lightly in foil while you finish the salad.

Add the walnuts, parsley, chicory, persimmons, and pomegranates to the bowl of dressing.  Toss well.

Slice the pigeon breasts and toss in with the salad.

Serve immediately.

About Chef Philippa

Having worked in acclaimed London restaurants such as River Café and Moro, Chef Philippa then went on to open and successfully run her own café at a city farm in London. Following this, in 2010, Philippa decided to turn her attentions to being a private chef. Her cooking style is simple, with strong influences from the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

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