Persian quail, fig & pomegranate salad

  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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  • 1 shallot (25g), chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
Persian quail, fig & pomegranate salad
  • 4 x 200g jumbo quails, butterflied
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 1 piece lebanese bread (80g)
  • 1 medium_piece radicchio (200g), outer leaves discarded
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup (50g) walnut halves, roasted
  • 6 ripe green figs (400g), sliced thickly
  • 120 gram feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 pomegranate (225g), seeds removed


Persian quail, fig & pomegranate salad
  • 1
    To make the dressing, combine shallot, sumac, cinnamon, sugar, pomegranate molasses and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl; season.
  • 2
    Place quail in a glass or ceramic bowl with half the dressing; toss to coat well. Cover; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • 4
    Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat; cook quail, in batches, skin-side down, for 4 minutes or until golden.
  • 5
    Transfer quail, skin-side up, to an oven tray; roast 5 minutes or until breast meat is still slightly pink. Remove from heat; rest 10 minutes. Cut each quail in half along the breastbone, then in half again between legs and breasts to give four pieces.
  • 6
    Lightly brush bread on each side with remaining olive oil, place on an oven tray; bake 8 minutes or until crisp and golden. Cool, then break into large pieces.
  • 7
    Tear radicchio leaves into large pieces. Place radicchio in a large bowl with herbs, nuts, figs, feta, pomegranate seeds, remaining dressing and quail; toss gently to combine.
  • 8
    Serve immediately with toasted bread.


The technique to split open and flatten quail so that it cooks quickly and evenly is called `butterflying'. Place quail, breast-side down, on a chopping board. Using poultry shears or kitchen scissors, cut down both sides of the backbone; discard the bone. Turn over, open out and press down on the breast plate to flatten further. Tuck the wings underneath. To remove seeds from a pomegranate, cut the fruit in half crossways; hold the half, cut-side down, in the palm of your hand over a bowl, then hit the outside firmly with a wooden spoon. The seeds should fall out easily; discard any white pith that falls out with them.

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