A new harvest of tender young pheasant and hazelnuts welcomes in the season. With autumn upon us, this delicious and easy recipe, with a hint of Mediterranean flavour, is ideal as a warming starter or main course.

Ingredients (serves two)

? plain flour ? breadcrumbs ? crushed hazelnuts ? basil ? one egg ? salt and pepper ? pheasant breasts ? olive oil ? mozzarella cheese

Method

1. Place a good handful each of plain flour, breadcrumbs and crushed hazelnuts on to a large, flat plate. Add some chopped fresh or dried basil. Mix together using your fingers.

2. Crack an egg into a large bowl, season well and add some more basil. Gently beat together and put to one side.

3. Place the skinned pheasant breasts between two large sheets of cling film. Gently beat the breasts with a rolling pin to flatten them to less than 1cm thick. Turn the cling film around to make the pheasant as even in size as possible.

4. Put a good dash of olive oil into a large, flat frying pan and bring the temperature up to a medium heat. Dip the pheasant breasts into the egg/basil mixture and place on to the breadcrumb mixture. Coat both sides of the meat, lift it out of the mixture and gently place into the frying pan to cook (about five minutes on each side). Drizzle some more mixture on top of one side. When the breasts are golden brown, place them on kitchen towel to drain. Lay a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of the pheasant and place it under a preheated medium-hot grill until the cheese melts. Serve immediately with a mixed salad.

Tips

The thinner the pheasant breast, the quicker it will cook. Before grilling, use a sharp knife to check the meat is cooked through.