Scotch Quail Eggs with a Herb Salad

Freshly prepared scotch eggs are a forgotten dish which used to appear regularly on pubs menus. They are eggs that are simply boiled and coated in sausage meat, crumbed and deep fried. Here I use quail eggs which make a nice change and work well in a salad. You can add different herbs and flavouring to the sausage meat or try a mix of prawns and pork mince. These quail eggs also make good canapés.

Portions: 4-6 Portions

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Scotch Eggs

  • 24 quail eggs, hard boiled (do not over boil as they will be cooked further when deep fried) and peeled
  • 150g sausage meat
  • 2 tbsp mixed herbs, finely chopped (chives, parsley and tarragon work well)
  • pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 120g breadcrumbs
  • oil for deep frying

Herb Salad

  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tbsp basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 120g baby spinach leaves or similar small salad leaves

Dressing

  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp seeded mustard
  • 2 tsp honey

Method

  1. Scotch Quail Eggs: Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan or wok to 180°C. Mix the sausage meat with the finely chopped herbs, nutmeg and season with a little salt and pepper. Flatten a dessert spoon of the sausage meat in the palm of your hand and wrap an egg in the meat and repeat this with all the eggs. Place the flour on a plate or bowl and season it with a little salt and pepper, place the beaten egg in a bowl and the breadcrumbs on a plate or bowl. Roll the quail eggs in the flour then the eggs and finally the breadcrumbs, so that they are well coated with the breadcrumbs. Set them aside until ready to cook. If you are preparing them in advance cover them and refrigerate them until ready to cook.
  2. To Cook: Deep fry a few eggs at a time (do not overcrowd) in the preheated oil for 2 minutes turning them with a slotted spoon so that all sides are cooked. Remove the eggs from the deep fryer with a slotted spoon and drain them on kitchen paper. Serve hot (you may wish to keep them in a warm oven while you cook the remaining eggs).
  3. Herb Salad: Deep fry 1 tablespoon of the parsley leave and basil leaves in the hot oil for a few seconds until crisp then drain them on the kitchen paper. Place the baby spinach or similar salad leaves in a bowl and add the remaining herbs to the leaves and toss them together.
  4. Dressing: Place all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and whisk them together until well combined.
  5. To Serve: Pour a couple of the tablespoons of the dressing over the salad and toss it to coat. Place a handful of the salad leaves on 4-6 serving bowls or plates, and scatter 4-6 quail eggs over the salad. Sprinkle over the deep dried herbs. Serve.