Roast & marinated quail with warm spring vegetable salad

This elegant, restaurant-style main course makes the most of seasonal spring vegetables

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:30 mins
  • Serves 2
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 718
  • fat 51g
  • saturates 16g
  • carbs 31g
  • sugars 8g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 34g
  • salt 1.41g


  • 2 oven-ready quails (See tip at end of recipe)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • small knob of butter
  • 10-12 asparagus spears
  • 2 handfuls salad leaves (I use frisée)
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g new potatoes, cooked, then peeled and halved


Get ahead
The marinade can be used to glaze duck breasts or as a dressing for oriental salads. If you want to make it in advance, it will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days – just stir before use.Oven-ready quail
Oven-ready quail are now available from most good supermarkets as well as butchers and farmers’ markets. Look for plump birds without any bruising or dry patches of skin.


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl and set aside. Season the quail inside and out with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan, then brown the quail well on all sides. Add the butter and baste the quail. Then pop into the oven for 10 mins. Leave the quail to rest for a few mins until just cool enough to handle.

  2. Using a large serrated knife, carefully halve each quail straight down the middle, then submerge in the marinade and leave to rest while you make the rest of the dish.

  3. For the potato salad, mix the crème fraîche, mascarpone, vinegar and spring onions with some salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sizzle the potatoes for about 5-10 mins, tossing occasionally until golden.

  4. Tip the hot potatoes into a bowl and fold through the crème fraîche mixture to bind and dress them. Set aside.

  5. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus, peel the stalks, then cut each spear in half at an angle. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.

  6. Cook the asparagus in the boiling water for 2 mins until tender but retaining a slight crunch. Drain well. Place in a small bowl and, while still steaming hot, spoon over and toss through a couple tbsp of the marinade. You are now ready to serve.

  7. Spoon half the potato salad into the centre of a large dinner plate. Lift the quail from the marinade and lay 2 halves, breasts facing inwards, on top of the potato salad. Scatter the leaves evenly around the edge of the plate. Tuck the asparagus spears in a circular fashion among the salad leaves with the tips pointing out. Coat the quail and drizzle the leaves with a little more of the marinade, then serve.

Suggested recipes from this collection...