This dish has a bit of an exotic air about it. The quail recipe is something I rustled together using the spice blends from Sami’s Kitchen I now have gracing my spice cupboard and the salad recipe was borrowed from Joumana at Taste of Beirut. Both go together beautifully.
A bit of patience is required with deboning the quail but if you’re not fussed about bones, just leave the little birds intact and stuff them like a regular chicken. To be honest the deboning isn’t all that tricky and rather than explain how it’s done, just watch this video. Just remember to start this recipe the day before you want to serve it.
For the marinade simply combine all the ingredients and allow the quails to marinate overnight in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Drain the quail of any liquid and sew it back into its original form using toothpicks, leaving an entry point between its legs for the stuffing. Stuff the falafel mix gently into the cavity and seal with another toothpick once done. Tie the legs together with string or strips of green onion that has been softened under hot running water. Arrange the quails on a baking tray, brush with the marinade, and bake for 30-40 minutes or until done.
To serve, remove the toothpicks and arrange on a platter with the Monk’s salad, a few greens, some yoghurt or hummus and flat bread.
Cover the chickpeas and broadbeans with water, add the bicarb and allow to soak overnight. Drain and rinse well.
Combine the soaked chickpeas and beans in a food processor with all the remaining ingredients and blend until a soft but coarse mixture forms. Remove the mixture and refrigerate for an hour before using to stuff the quails.
Any remaining falafel mix can be rolled into small balls and deep-fried for a snack, or frozen for later use.
Peel and cut the eggplant into slices and sprinkle with salt; set aside for half an hour until it extracts the liquid.
In a mixing bowl combine the parsley, spring onion, tomatoes & capsicum.
For the dressing, pound the garlic into a paste using a mortar and pestle with a dash of salt. Pour in the lemon juice, olive oil and pomegranate molasses and mix well.
Wipe the eggplant slices dry and sprinkle with olive oil; bake in a 180°C oven for 20-30 minutes or until soft. Chop the eggplant into dice and transfer to the salad bowl. Add the dressing and combine all of the ingredients; taste for seasoning and serve.