Chef's Recipes

Char-grilled quail, farro and prosciutto salad

Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian recipe for char-grilled quail, farro and prosciutto salad by Nicky Riemer from Melbourne Wine Room.

By Nicky Reimer
  • Serves 6
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus macerating, cooling, resting
Char-grilled quail, farro and prosciutto salad
Char-grilled quail, farro and prosciutto salad

“At home I use a Le Creuset grill on my stovetop to achieve the same flavour as a restaurant char-grill. Once the quail is grilled, rest it in a bath of verjuice, extra-virgin olive oil and grapes, which I use as the final dressing as well.”


  • 125 ml amontillado sherry (see note)
  • 75 gm raisins
  • 100 gm piece of prosciutto, diced
  • 200 gm (1 cup) farro perlato (see note)
  • 320 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for rubbing
  • 180 gm (1 cup) natural almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves (about ½ bunch)
  • 150 ml verjuice
  • 80 gm (1 cup) dark-skinned grapes, halved
  • To season: freshly ground white pepper
  • 6 butterflied jumbo quail (about 220gm each)


  • 1
    Combine sherry and raisins in a small bowl and macerate until plump (25-30 minutes).
  • 2
    Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat, add prosciutto and sauté until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes), set aside.
  • 3
    Combine farro, 500ml water and 1 tsp sea salt in a saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until all water is absorbed (16-18 minutes). Remove from heat, spread on a tray, drizzle with 20ml extra-virgin olive oil, cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl, add almonds, parsley, raisin mixture and prosciutto, toss to combine, set aside.
  • 4
    Combine verjuice, grapes and remaining extra-virgin olive oil in a shallow tray, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, set aside.
  • 5
    Preheat a char-grill over high heat and brush with a little olive oil. Season quail to taste and rub with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Grill skin-side down until brown (2-3 minutes), turn and grill until cooked through (2 minutes). Transfer to grape mixture and stand for 5 minutes. Remove quail from grape mixture, halve and serve immediately with farro salad and a little grape mixture spooned over.


Amontillado sherry is available from select bottle shops. If it’s unavailable, substitute another medium-dry sherry. Farro perlato is a pearl wheat available from select delicatessens. If it’s unavailable, substitute pearl barley.
Drink Suggestion: South Australian grenache. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Nicky Reimer