Spice-roasted quail with celeriac and walnuts

Spice-roasted quail with celeriac and walnuts

By
From
Spring
Serves
4
Photographer
Andy Sewell

Quail is one of my very favourite little birds. Deeply flavourful and deliciously plump, each one gives a few succulent mouthfuls and perfect little bones that are irresistible to gnaw on! This is an elegant and suave first course with complex and interesting flavours.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 quail
1 1/2 tablespoons roasted spice mix, (mixed coriander, cumin, fennel and cardamom seeds, toasted and freshly ground)
1 dried red chilli, crumbled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 baby plum tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 small celeriac
1/2 lemon, juiced, or to taste
1 small radicchio, leaves separated
12-16 shelled fresh walnuts
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 tablespoon dijon mustard

For the marjoram oil

Quantity Ingredient
a bunch marjoram, leaves only
100ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the quail in a bowl. Sprinkle over the spice mix and dried chilli and season well with salt. Drizzle over tbsp olive oil and turn the quail to coat. Transfer the seasoned quail to a roasting tray.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a small roasting tray, trickle over the wine vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil and toss lightly. Season with a little salt.
  3. Roast the quail on the top shelf of the oven, with the tomatoes on a shelf below, for about 12 minutes until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, peel the celeriac and slice into fine rounds, then into matchsticks. Immediately drop into a bowl of cold water with a little lemon juice added to prevent discoloration. For the dressing, put the crème fraîche in a bowl with the mustard and a small pinch of salt and stir well to combine.
  5. Once the quail are cooked, cover loosely with foil and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Let the tomatoes cool slightly.
  6. Meanwhile, dress the radicchio with lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Drain the celeriac and toss in a separate bowl with the mustard dressing.
  7. For the marjoram oil, pound the marjoram leaves with a pinch of salt, using a pestle and mortar, then gradually work in the olive oil – you will have a lovely sludgy sauce.
  8. Arrange the salad leaves, tomatoes and celeriac on plates and sit the quail on top. Finish with a scattering of walnuts and a few spoonfuls of marjoram oil. Serve immediately.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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