A Quail Salad with Polenta, Rocket, and Mushrooms

A wonderful Italian motivated dinner party dish made with sweet plump quail, this was such a great hit in Palm Springs that one of the guests requested the recipe so he could have it appear in the restaurant that carries his name.

Serves: 4
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

You Will Need

4 Whole Quail
7 Ounces Wild Rocket/Arugula
4 Tablespoons Gremolata
4 Large Flat Field Mushrooms
¼ Pint Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
For the Marinade:
1 Clove Garlic
2 Medium Lemons
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

For the Polenta:

5 Ounces Instant Polenta
1 Ounce Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg, grated
3 ½ Fluid Ounces Double Cream
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil

For the Vinaigrette:

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cut out the backbone of the quail and then slam the heel of your hand down to break the breastbone and flatten.
Peel and chop the garlic finely, juice the lemons and mix with the garlic, salt and pepper and the 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
Marinate the quail in this marinade for 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Make the polenta according to the instructions on the packet, but using only 2 thirds of the specified amount of liquid.
As it thickens in the pan add the parmesan cheese, the grated nutmeg and season to taste.
Stir in the cream, pour into an oiled Swiss roll tin (jellyroll tin), leave it to cool and set.
Wash and dry the arugula, peel the mushrooms and take off the stems.

Make the Gremolata.

Make the dressing;
Mix the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, season to taste.
Cut the polenta into triangles, 3 per serving.
Pre-heat the grill (broiler) and a ridged grill pan.
Grill the mushrooms, giving them 3 minutes on the white side and one minute on the black. Transfer to a dish sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of the Gremolata and a little drizzle of the extra virgin olive oil.
Over a medium heat cook, the quail on the ridged grill pan for 4 minutes each side.
Remove and allow to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
In a frying pan sauté the polenta in the olive oil.
Toss the rocket/arugula in the vinaigrette to coat each leaf and mound in the centre of 4 dinner plates, arrange the polenta around, slice the mushrooms and scatter around, put the quail on top of the arugula, sprinkle with the remaining Gremolata and drizzle over a little olive oil.Serve at once.

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