• TO DRINK: A complex, lighter style of wine such as a pinot noir will not overpower the dish’s delicate flavours. Go for the Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir or the French Gevrey Chambertin.

    Quails with date and pistachio stuffing and rose sauce


    • 3 slices wholewheat bread
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 100g dates, pitted
    • 110g butter
    • juice and zest of 1 orange
    • 100g pistachio nuts, shelled
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • a handful of fresh thyme, stalks discarded
    • a handful of fresh sage, chopped
    • 100g butter
    • 100g walnuts, toasted and chopped
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) rose water
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) honey
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) wholegrain mustard
    • petals of 2 red roses (see Cook’s Tip below)
    • 4 quails, deboned
    • olive oil, for brushing
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



    Preheat the oven to 180°C.


    For the stuffing, combine all the ingredients, except the herbs, in a food processor. Place the mixture in a bowl and add the herbs. Set aside.


    For the rose sauce, melt the butter in a pan. Add the walnuts, rose water, honey, garlic and mustard, and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool slightly.


    Chop half of the rose petals and add them to the walnut mixture.


    Place the quails breast-side down in a roasting tin, and place the stuffing in the cavity. Secure the cavity with toothpicks and tie the quails up with kitchen string. Brush with olive oil and season to taste. Roast the quails for 10 – 15 minutes, basting them regularly with the rose sauce.


    Pour the pan juices from the roasting tin into the rose sauce and spoon half of this mixture over the quails. Scatter some of the rose petals over and keep the rest to garnish.


    Roast the quails until golden brown, about 5 – 10 minutes. Place foil over any part of the quails that get too dark.


    Scatter the quails with the remaining petals, and serve them with the remaining rose sauce.

    When using fresh flowers in a dish, make sure they are edible and free from pesticides