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.
- 250 ml beetroot juice (about 500gm beetroot; see note) (1 cup)
- 250 ml white vinegar (1 cup)
- 110 gm white sugar (½ cup)
- 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)
- 1Bring 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.
- 2Bring 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.
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
Drink Suggestion: Sweetish pink sparkling wine, such as Brachetto. Drink suggestion by Max Allen