Quail on a mushroom nest

Quail on a mushroom nest


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Tiny quail, served on mushroom caps and topped with a garnish of parsley, lemon and garlic, make a special entree yet leave you plenty of free time to prepare the main course.

Pat Alburey

Serves: 4 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 4 quail
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 large flat mushrooms
  • Salt and black pepper
  • For the gremolata
  • A small bunch of parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic

Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:50min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C. Put the olive oil and butter in a shallow ovenproof dish and leave to heat in the top half of the oven while you prepare the quails.
  2. Pluck any feathers from the quails, rinse and pat dry. Put 2 sprigs thyme and 1 bay leaf into each cavity.
  3. Clean the mushrooms and remove the stalks. Place skin side down in the ovenproof dish, and position a quail on the centre of each. Baste the quails and around the edges of the mushrooms with the oil and butter and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the quails in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until their juices run clear when the flesh is pierced with a skewer. Baste again halfway through cooking.
  5. Meanwhile, make the gremolata. Chop enough parsley to give 2 tablespoons. Grate half the rind from the lemon. Peel and crush the garlic. Mix together in a small bowl.
  6. A few minutes before the quails have finished cooking, sprinkle some gremolata over each and return to the oven.


good source of vitamins B group and E.


Gremolata is an Italian garnish traditionally served with Osso bucco. It can be used to boost the flavour of many simple dishes, including pasta and vegetables.

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