Photography by Darren Bester

 

Yield: 4

Ingredients 

8 Quail eggs

8 slices Parma Ham

Baby Gem Lettuce or Crisp Lettuce or Cos Lettuce

8 Ciabatta Bread Slices

Parmesan Cheese for garnishing

For the dressing: 

1 egg

1 clove garlic

2tsp Dijon Mustard

2 tbsp lemon juice

3 anchovy fillets

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup vegetable oil

Method: 

Cut the ciabatta bread as thinly as possible, place on a baking tray and bake at 100 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes, until crisp and golden, remove from the oven and set aside.  Soft boil the quail eggs (2 minutes) and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process.  Peel the eggs carefully and set aside.  Place the Parma Ham on a baking sheet and bake at 140 degrees for 5 – 8 minutes, until crisp, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Shred your lettuce and place on the centre of each plate.  For the dressing – place the egg, garlic, dijon mustard, anchovy, lemon juice and grated parmesan cheese in a food processor and blend to combine, slowly add the oil, drop by drop until it emulsifies and forms a mayonnaise consistency, season to taste.

Drizzle sauce over your salad leaves generously, top the leaves with the ham and your home made ciabatta croutons, drop your quail eggs into hot water to heat through for 30 seconds, drain, season and plate. Garnish with parmesan shavings & enjoy, with a nice glass of wine !

Notes: If living in Cape Town, you can buy quail eggs and anchovies from Giovanni’s in Green Point.  Soft boiled quail eggs are so tricky to peel, so buy a few extra as you are bound to have a few ‘casualty’s’ like I did.   If making this salad for dinner at home, opt for normal eggs, they provide more sauce for your salad, they easier to peel and more affordable.  You can make your croutons a few days ahead of time and bake your Parma Ham a few hours in advance.  The dressing can also be made a day or 2 in advance.  The dressing was a big hit at my dinner party, the recipe for the dressing was taken from one of my Donna Hay cookbooks.  A great dinner party starter as all the prep is done ahead of time so all you have to do is plate up and serve!

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