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Quail Eggs (c)2012

I’ve got creative recipes for cooking with quail eggs during spring:

1.  Simple Boiled Quail Eggs with Flavored Salts

My favorite way to cook with quail eggs is the simplest: boiled with a fun flavored salt garnish and fresh herbs. Kids love the tiny shape for it’s whimsy, adults love them as a cute one-bite appetizer with a glass of wine. This week at la Domestique, I’ll be sharing a recipe for Boiled Quail Eggs with Meyer Lemon Sea Salt and Fresh Chives. This is a great opportunity to show off a favorite salt blend whether flavored with herbs, smoke, hot peppers, or curry. I used the citrus salt recipe from 101 Cookbooks.

2.  Poached Egg on Toast with Sorrel

With the arrival of spring comes sorrel, a plant with long lemony tasting leaves. The tart flavor of sorrel pairs beautifully with rich poached eggs. I found a recipe for Poached Egg on Toast with Sorrel from The River Cottage Cookbook that would be lovely with quail eggs. The sorrel is sautéed in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper, a dollop of crème fraîche stirred in. Place a poached quail egg on a small piece of toast and spoon over the sauce. Simple spring snack or breakfast.

3.  Tea-Marbled Quail Eggs

I like to think of this as decorated Easter eggs for adults. According to Valerie Gordon, who’s half Chinese, tea-marbled quail eggs are a “staple snack.” Food & Wine Magazine could not describe these hors d’ oeuvres better- infused with smoky Lapsang souchong tea, they are sophisticated and exotic. The tea-marbling effect is easy yet stunningly beautiful: boil the quail eggs, crack the shells by tapping all over with a spoon, and leave them to soak overnight in the fridge in a bowl of water, tea bags, peppercorns, star anise and a pinch of salt. Peeling the eggs the next day reveals a beautiful marbling effect. Serve them with her curry salt.

4.  Petit Niçoise

Boiled eggs are traditional in the French Salade Niçoise, why not have some fun with tiny boiled quail eggs and make a miniature version of the classic salad? There are many versions of this famous salad from Provence, and you can see David Lebovitz’s post on the real Salade Niçoise, or make your own version with what is in season right now. Toss the (halved) boiled quail eggs with green beans, Niçoise olives, your favorite baby spring lettuces, spring onions, tomato, and plenty of herbs like basil or parsley. Dress the salad simply with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil (the good stuff) and maybe some red wine vinegar.

5.  Chive Blini with Crème Fraîche, Quail Eggs, and Tarragon

Spring cooking is about simple, fresh flavors, and the recipe for Chive Blini with Crème Fraîche, Quail Eggs, and Tarragon from Martha Stewart is a perfect example. Blini are little potato pancakes and they just beg to be topped with tiny quail eggs. Bright crème fraîche and spring chives go great with potato, and tarragon lends its licorice notes to the chorus. All you need is a glass of bubbles, bare feet, and a gorgeous patch of green grass.

6.  Baked Quail Eggs in Crispy Prosciutto Nests

This recipe for Mini Quail Eggs in Prosciutto Nests from Martha Stewart is a super easy and creative brunch dish that feeds a crowd. All you need is a mini-muffin tin, each cup lined with a piece of prosciutto (or bacon). Crack a quail egg into each prosciutto lined cup and bake for 6 minutes until the egg is set and the prosciutto tips are crispy. I think this is genius. Serving a crowd? Bake a bunch of tins at once. Great for a party.

7.  Pickled Quail Eggs

I love that just recently, Ashley Rodriguez featured gorgeous pink Beet Pickled Eggs with Fennel on her blog, Not Without Salt. She opened the door for me to approach the pickled egg subject with you today. Pickling preserves the eggs while adding flavor. Bon Appétit labels pickled quail eggs as a bar snack, to be served in a martini. Hard boiled quail eggs are peeled and added to a sterile jar with vinegar brine, left to marinate for a few days and develop flavor.

8.  Boiled Quail Eggs atop Crostini with Spicy Chorizo and Purple Broccoli

In Forgotten Skills of Cooking, Darina Allen writes that boiled quail eggs are “irresistible atop crostini with a piece of crispy chorizo as a nibble for drinks.” I would rub slices of baguette with olive oil, then toast them on a grill. I would also take from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Chorizo and Soft-Hard-Boiled Eggs from River Cottage Every Day. Purple Sprouting Broccoli is one of the first, short-seasoned vegetables of spring. Hugh sautés thin slices of chorizo in a skillet, then adds blanched broccoli. Top the crostini with a piece of broccoli, a slice of chorizo, half a boiled quail egg, and drizzle over the chorizo-infused oil from the hot pan.

9.  Fried or Poached Quail Egg to Garnish Spring Soup

During spring I can’t get enough puréed vegetable soups, especially green ones with vegetables like fennelasparagus, sorrel, leeks, or peas. A petit quail egg adds rich flavor without completely taking over the dish. Place the fried or poached egg atop a small bowl of soup and add a sprinkling of fresh herbs like tarragon, parsley, mint, or chive and you’ve got an elegant meal or first course.

10.  Little Devils

Quail eggs make for cute little devils, and there are many ways to devil an egg. Boil them, slice them, and scoop all the yolks out into one bowl. Stir in the flavorings and spoon a little dollop into each quail egg white. Gourmet shares 5 Delightfully Deviled Eggs, just remember to adjust the recipe for using the smaller quail egg. I love the idea to use smoked paprika in a classic deviled egg preparation to kick the flavor up a notch, or The Bollywood, with curry powder, chutney, and lime. Deviled quail eggs are a great way to have fun with an old classic.

What is your favorite way to cook with quail eggs? Share it in the comments section. Click Here.