Recipe – Harissa-rubbed Roast Quail with Lentil Salad

Harissa-rubbed Roast Quail with Lentil Salad - Food-Wine-Travel with Roberta Muir
Quail has always seemed a bit fiddly to me – but when I finally tackled it, I was really surprised at how simple it was. Brining is a great way to add flavour to meat and poultry – it’s really the original ‘marinade’, a word that derives from the Latin ‘mare’, meaning ‘sea’, and the brine should taste salty like the ocean. The lentil salad is a tasty accompaniment to any roast meat, or even as a simple standalone dish, but if you’re short on time, steamed rice works almost as well. When cooking lentils (or any legumes) don’t add salt to the cooking water as it toughens them, but do salt generously after cooking. Harissa, a north African chilli paste, adds a gentle heat to this roast quail. One wine match instantly comes to mind whenever I use preserved lemon – aged Hunter Valley semillon. The fresh lemony tang of a young semillon seems to mellow to more of a preserved lemon note as it ages, making the two a perfect match on my palate. So if you happen to have an old bottle of Tyrrell’s Vat 1 in the cellar this would be the perfect time to open it!

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 6 large quail (about 220g each)
  • 1½ cups cooking salt
  • 3 litres water
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 preserved lemon, skin only,
    cut into very thin strips (see below)
  • ⅓ cup pitted Ligurian olives

Lentil Salad

  • 500g black lentils
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons salt flakes
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup strained lemon juice
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley 

Preserved lemons are super easy to make and a wonderful homemade gift – learn how to make them here.

Method
  1. Cut quail into halves, lightly rinse the body cavities to remove any remaining offal or blood and place, cut-side up, in a baking dish.
  2. Dissolve salt in the water and pour over the quail; they should be covered, if they aren’t, make additional brine by combining ½ cup salt per litre of water. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, make Lentil Salad: rinse lentils and place in a large saucepan with the bay leaf and plenty of cold water. Place over a high heat, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, until just tender but still firm. Strain, return to rinsed out saucepan, add salt, oil and lemon juice and gently stir through. Set aside to cool. Stir parsley through, cover and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  5. Pour ¼ cup of the oil into a baking dish, add onion, toss well to coat in the oil and place in the oven.
  6. Remove quail from fridge and pat dry.
  7. Combine harissa with remaining oil and rub all over the quail.
  8. Remove baking dish from the oven, add lemon and olives and toss well.
  9. Arrange quail on top in a single layer, cut-side down.
  10. Return baking dish to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then turn on the overhead grill and cook for a further couple of minutes, watching them closely, until skin is well-coloured and crisp.
  11. Arrange Lentil Salad on a platter, top with roast quail, spoon onion, lemon, olives and cooking juices over the top and serve.

Click Here For Print Friendly Version >

Share page on:

Order a Recipe Kit

What Our Cooks Say

Melisa (Beacon Hill, NSW)
Melisa (Beacon Hill, NSW)
Read More
We made the pot-sticker dumplings and bang bang chicken – once again both exceeded our expectations. My husband keeps saying it’s better ordering this than going out to restaurants as the recipes and food quality are amazing.
Glennis (Caringbah South, NSW)
Glennis (Caringbah South, NSW)
Read More
The whole Be Inspired experience has helped me love cooking again. I was sick of cooking the same old things - meal time is a lot brighter thanks to you Roberta.
Kate (Killara, NSW)
Kate (Killara, NSW)
Read More
I loved the Fresh & Easy Chicken – simple instructions, only a few ingredients and the time factor absolutely spot on. Then came the highlight, the taste, no compromise on the enjoyment of that meal! For the time poor Fresh & Easy hits the mark indeed.
Jen (Tamarama, NSW)
Jen (Tamarama, NSW)
Read More
Thank you for stocking our pantry with such authentic Ingredients and quality produce ... I’ve so enjoyed picking fresh leaves from the herb pots and loved listening to the chef's playlist while cooking. We really like the flexibility of cooking over a couple of days and changing the order we cook the dishes in when we want to.
Katrina (Arncliffe, NSW)
Katrina (Arncliffe, NSW)
Read More
I am absolutely loving these boxes! There are Ingredients I have never worked with before so having the confidence to try something new is so much fun! The recipes are just amazing and the notes on what can be prep’d beforehand are a great help too. Thank you so much.
Nathan (Manly, NSW)
Nathan (Manly, NSW)
Read More
Loving Be Inspired! Felt like a kid opening up a Christmas present when the box arrived. Fresh herb pots are a nice touch!
Richard (Earlwood, NSW)
Richard (Earlwood, NSW)
Read More
Thanks so much for the Fresh & Easy Meal, it was excellent. We regularly get another meal kit delivery – your offering is vastly superior and a similar price, so big ticks.
Previous
Next