For a long time, i thought quail would be too fiddly to cook – but when I finally tackled it I was surprised at how simple it is. Brining is a great way to add flavour to meat and poultry, it’s 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 try the burghul with vermicelli in the below video or simple steamed rice. 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. Preserved lemons are super easy to make and a wonderful homemade gift. 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!
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