12 butterflied quail
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g Israeli couscous
½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup coarsely chopped coriander
1 red onion, finely chopped
½ preserved lemon, rind only,
¼ cup slivered almonds &/or pinenuts, toasted
Juice of ½ lemon
4 small (250g) cooked beetroot, thickly sliced
Mint and cumin yoghurt
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ cup firmly packed mint, finely chopped
1 cup (280g) plain yoghurt
1. Marinate quail in half the oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan-forced).
2. Add couscous to a saucepan of 2 cups (500ml) salted boiling water, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender (12–15 minutes), or according to packet directions. Drain in a colander and run under cold water until cold. Drain well, then place in a
large serving bowl and fork over to separate the grains.
3. Place quail, skin-side up in a large baking tray and roast in 200ºC oven for 15 minutes. Move to the top of the oven and turn on fan grill and continue to cook for another
5 minutes or until golden brown. Alternatively, cook on pre-heated BBQ for 3–5 minutes each side.
4. Combine remaining oil and other ingredients with the couscous, add beetroot and fold through. Season to taste.
5. For mint and cumin yoghurt, dry-roast cumin seeds until fragrant. Combine with mint and yoghurt and season to taste. Serve separately.
TO SHARE: Serve salad in bowl with the quail in a stack on a large plate beside it so guests can serve themselves. This also makes a lovely vegetarian meal without the quail.
Wine match: The delicate nature of quail means it is a superb white wine match and the subtle spice in a modern Hunter Valley Chardonnay complements the spice in the dish. Adding to the appeal of this match, the fresh acidity in the wine enables it to balance the richness of the yoghurt dressing.