Farmhouse salad & Scotch free-to-fly quail eggs

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Serves: 4

Difficulty: 3/5

A salad like this makes a great light evening meal or lunch alternative. I’ve slipped in some scotch quail eggs here, which is an interesting addition to the salad, or you could use them on their own as a snack with drinks or a kids lunch box treat. I’ve suggested making 6 for the salad, but just double up on the sausage meat and crumbs if you want just the Scotch quails eggs.

Recipe by Mark Hix

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 quail eggs, cooked for 1 ½ minutes in boiling water then drained and cooled under the cold tap and peeled.
  • 180g-200g good quality Cumberland sausage meat (you may need to just remove the skins from the sausages)
  • 1tbls flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 40g-50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 4 Mabel Pearmans Burford Browns, Cotswold Legbars or Bantam eggs when in season
  • 4 rashers of rind less streaky bacon, cut into rough 1cm chunks
  • 180g-200g good quality black pudding, skinned and cut into rough 1cm chunks or slices
  • 2 thick slices of bread, cut into rough 1cm cubes
  • 3-4 tbls vegetable or corn oil
  • A couple handfuls of small salad and herb leaves (about 80g-90g)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the vinaigrette

  • 1 tbsp good quality white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • A few sprigs of tarragon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp vegetable or corn oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Print Recipe

    METHOD

    First, make the vinaigrette. Put all of the ingredients into a clean bottle or jar. Give them a good shake, season and leave to infuse preferably overnight at room temperature or for an hour or so.

    Divide the sausage meat into 6 balls and flatten them into patties. Wrap the meat around each of the eggs evenly, moulding it with your hands. Have 3 shallow containers ready, one with the flour, one with the egg and the third with the breadcrumbs. Put the eggs through the flour first, shaking off any excess, then through the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs, re-moulding them if necessary.

    Pre-heat about 6cm of oil to 140-150C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer. Cook the eggs for 4-5 minutes, turning them every so often so they are evenly coloured. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.

    Cook the Burford browns eggs for 4-5 minutes then cool under the cold tap a little and carefully peel as the egg yolks should still be a little runny. Heat half of the vegetable oil in a frying pan and cook the pieces of bacon and black pudding for 2-3 minutes, stirring until lightly coloured then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and cook the croutons until golden on a medium to high temperature, stirring them so that they colour evenly.

    To serve, dress the leaves with some of the dressing, season and arrange on plates or bowls. Scatter the bacon, black pudding and croutons over the leaves, half the quails eggs and arrange 3 pieces on the leaves then carefully break the other eggs in half and place in the centre of the salad and drizzle over the rest of the dressing.