Grilled Quail with Farro and Salsa Verde

Colleen developed this delicious recipe for her cooking class at the Ocean Reef Club. Huge hit! It looks more complicated than it is, since you can do things in parallel. For the quail
4 dressed quail, about 5 ounces each
2 Tb. Balsamic vinegar
Sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary, or sage leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Splash of olive oil
Several hours in advance of cooking, place the quail in a bowl and season with the herbs, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate. Prepare a fire and let coals reach the glowing stage with a surface of white ash. Spread the coals evenly around grill and place grate on grill. Wipe clean. Remove quail from marinade. Place breast side down over fire and grill the first side about 5 minutes, until the skin takes on a good color. Turn over and cook another 4-5 minutes, until done. Set aside to rest. Farro When buying farro look for the words “decorticato”, “perlato”, or “integrale” on the package. The first two words mean that it has some of the outer hull removed making for a faster cooking time. “Integrale” means that the hull is intact and like brown rice takes longer to cook as well as a few hours pre-soaking and remains a little chewier than the “decorticato” and “perlato” farro. Both versions are delicious so choose according to your time constraints. For this recipe I will use the faster-cooking grain.
1 C. farro
4 C. water
Salt and pepper
¼ C. DaVero extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb. Red wine vinegar
¼ C. currants
Place the farro and water in a pot, add a good pinch of salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes until just tender. Drain. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, and a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper together in a bowl. Add the currants. If the currants are very dry plump in a little hot water before adding to farro. Add the farro and taste. Adjust seasoning. Spread the farro on a warm platter and place the quail on top. Serve with a splash of the salsa verde. Salsa Verde The ingredients for a green sauce are not hard and fast. Use this recipe as a guideline and adjust to your preferences or availability of ingredients. This is the place for the soft-leaved herbs vs. your woody-stemmed herbs such as rosemary and thyme.
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
Handful of herbs which might include some chervil, cilantro, mint, cress, chives, basil, tarragon, celery leaves, and/or lovage leaves
1 Tb. capers
Zest and juice of one lemon and orange
2-3 garlic cloves
3-4 anchovy filets
1 shallot
Chili flakes
½ C. DaVero Extra Virgin or Meyer lemon olive oil
Roughly chop the herbs and capers and place in a bowl. Using a micro-plane, zest the citrus peel onto the herbs. Halve and juice the lemon and orange, saving the juice in a small bowl. Finely dice the shallot and add to the citrus juice, letting marinate for at least 10 minutes. Mash the anchovy filets and garlic with a little salt and stir into the oil. Pour the oil mixture and the shallot mixture into the herbs. Add a pinch of chili flakes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Best when used the same day. Makes about 1 3/4 cups

Colleen is an accomplished chef and restaurateur. Originally from a dairy farm in rural Wisconsin, Colleen learned to cook in France and Germany before settling in the Bay Area. She spent five years as a chef at Star's in San Francisco, then came to Healdsburg where she and two friends opened Samba Java, a spot that quickly became the center of the town. She now runs both DaVero and the farm.

Posted in Entrees, Uncategorized

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