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John's beetroot-pickled quail eggs

You'll need

250 ml (1 cup) beetroot juice (about 500gm beetroot; see note) 250 ml (1 cup) white vinegar 110 gm (½ cup) white sugar 2 fresh bay leaves 3 cloves 2 tsp black peppercorns 1 tsp dried chilli flakes ½ cinnamon quill 24 quail eggs 6 mint leaves (optional)


  • 01
  • Bring beetroot juice, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, chilli, cinnamon and ½ tsp sea salt to the boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, remove from heat and keep warm.
  • 02
  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat, add quail eggs, cook for 2 minutes, drain and refresh in iced water. Carefully peel eggs, place in a 500ml sterilised jar, pour warm beetroot juice mixture over, set aside to cool, add mint leaves, seal with a lid and refrigerate to pickle (2 weeks). John's beetroot-pickled quail eggs will keep refrigerated for 2 months.
Note To make beetroot juice, coarsely chop beetroot and pass through a juice extractor. Alternatively, process beetroot in a food processor until finely puréed, then pass through a fine sieve.

This recipe is from the May 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

The recipe for these quail eggs comes from my neighbour John, a quail egg supplier. The beetroot juice gives the eggs an iridescent colour that looks fabulous in a salad of beetroot, Spanish onion and bitter greens such as chicory, raddichio and beetroot leaves, or with strips of crisp bacon, toasted walnuts and a mustard cream dressing. You'll need to begin this recipe two weeks ahead.

At A Glance

  • Serves 24 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 24 people

Drink Suggestion

Sweetish pink sparkling wine, such as Brachetto.

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