Autumn quail salad with baked ricotta and apple

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

  • 120 gm firm ricotta, coarsely crumbled
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • ¼ cup (loosely packed) thyme
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 6 quail, butterflied
  • 50 ml each vincotto and red wine vinegar
  • 2 pink lady apples, julienned
  • 2 witlof, leaves separated
  • 1½ cups (loosely packed) watercress, trimmed
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • To serve: pepitas
01   Preheat oven to 180C. Scatter ricotta on an oven tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with 50ml olive oil, scatter over a third of the thyme, rind and chilli flakes, season to taste and bake until golden (10-12 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly.
02   Drizzle quail with 40ml oil, scatter with half the thyme and season to taste. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add quail in batches skin-side down and cook, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (6-8 minutes). Set aside to rest.
03   Whisk vincotto, vinegar and remaining oil in a bowl, season to taste. Combine apple, witlof, watercress, parsley, ricotta and remaining thyme in a large bowl, drizzle with dressing, season to taste and toss to combine. Add quail, toss to combine then serve with pepitas, to scatter over.
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