This traditional Easter dish is usually made as a large pie - we've opted for individual pies, ideal to serve as a starter. Chilling the quail eggs in the freezer stops them overcooking. Serve the pies with a bitter leaf salad dressed with red wine vinaigrette.
- 6 quail eggs
- 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 350 gm mixed greens, such as silverbeet, cavolo nero and chicory, trimmed
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley (firmly packed)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 250 gm firm ricotta, drained
- 30 gm finely grated parmesan
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 roasted globe artichoke, finely chopped (see note)
Olive oil pastry
- 500 gm plain flour (3⅓ cups)
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1For olive oil pastry, combine flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl, make a well in the centre, add oil and 80ml lukewarm water and stir to combine. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth, then divide into 6 pieces, knead each into a ball, cover and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
- 2Meanwhile, place quail eggs in freezer for 20 minutes to chill. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes), remove from heat and transfer to a food processor.
- 3Blanch greens and parsley until bright green and just wilted (1 minute), drain, refresh, drain well again, squeezing out excess water, and add to onion mixture. Add beaten egg, ricotta, parmesan and lemon rind, season to taste, process to a smooth purée, then stir in artichoke.
- 4Preheat oven to 200C. Roll out each piece of pastry on a lightly floured surface to 2mm thick and line 6 lightly oiled 250ml dariole moulds, allowing excess pastry to overhang. Fill each mould to two-thirds full with ricotta mixture and make a small indent in the centre with a teaspoon. Crack a quail egg into each indent, then top with remaining ricotta mixture. Brush edges of pastry with oil then fold up over ricotta mixture, pleating as you go, to enclose. Brush tops of pies lightly with oil, season to taste, place on an oven tray and bake until golden (15-20 minutes). Stand for 10 minutes, turn out of moulds and serve warm or at room temperature.
Roasted or char-grilled artichokes are available from select delicatessens.
This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of
Drink Suggestion: Good sparkling Prosecco. Drink suggestion by Max Allen