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Seared quail salad

Let’s say you want to impress your boss, or there’s a special someone coming over to dinner. When they hear “persimmon, fennel and feta” your culinary rep sky-rockets! This is such an easy dish but has a few ingredients you will need to hunt down for best results. PS the burnt orange and thyme dressing is boss. Serves 4.

  • Prep

    45 mins

  • Cooking

    15 mins






  • 6 butterflied Brisbane Valley Farm Direct quail
  • 2 ripe persimmons, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 med salad onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, washed and shaved
  • 1 tab spoon toasted pepitas
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • 75g watercress, washed and picked
  • 1 tspn picked thyme leaves
  • ½ clove garlic, crushed
  • 150g fetta
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 100 ml orange juice
  • 2 tab spoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tab spoons besan flour (chickpea flour)


Step 1

Dust the quail in besan flour and season with salt and white pepper.

Step 2

For the dressing, place the sugar in a small saucepan and add just enough water to make a sloppy paste. Place on a high heat and cook until it reaches a golden brown colour. When it reaches this stage allow it to colour just a little more before adding the orange juice and sherry vinegar. Just be careful when adding the juice as it will splutter a little bit.

Step 3

Bring back to boil to dissolve any sugar crystals and when it is totally liquid again remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature. When cool add thyme leaves and an equal amount of olive oil and season to taste.

Step 4

For the salad, mix all remaining ingredients together (except fetta) and lightly season.


Step 5

To cook the quail, heat a heavy based saucepan and add the quail skin side down and seal for about 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and continue to seal for a further 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to rest in the pan for approx 3-5 minutes.


Step 6

To serve place a warm rested quail in the centre of the plate and place a good handful of the mixed salad on top, drizzle some of the dressing over and around the salad and finally, crumble some of the fetta over the top.

Step 7