Vintage Herbs: Mesquite-Grilled Quail with Pancetta and Sage

Discover the lush herbal landscape of California wine country.

| December/January 1996

Serves 6

This is a favorite of Jamie Davies of Schramsberg. Serve it on a bed of greens with a dry pink champagne such as Brut rosé.

  • 12 quail, dressed
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 lemons
  • 12–24 sprigs of sage
  • 2 tablespoons Brut champagne
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup French bread, cut into 2-inch squares
  • 24 two-inch squares of pancetta or bacon,
  • ¼ inch thick
  • 24–36 fresh sage leaves
  1. Rinse and dry the quail. Rub the skin with olive oil and the garlic. Squeeze lemon juice inside each bird and stuff lightly with the sage sprigs. In a bowl, combine the champagne, 2 tablespoons olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  2. Arrange the ingredients on a skewer as follows: a square of French bread, a square of pancetta, 2– 3 sage leaves, a quail, 2–3 sage leaves, a square of pancetta, a square of bread, a square of pancetta, 2–3 sage leaves, a quail, 2–3 sage leaves, a square of pancetta, a square of bread. Repeat with five other skewers.
  3. Grill over mesquite coals, basting with the seasoned oil for about 30 minutes, or until the quail juices run clear and the skin is golden brown. Turn the skewers occasionally so that the quail browns evenly.

Audrey Scano lives with her husband, two dogs and a cat in Loveland, Colorado.

Click here for the original article, Vintage Herbs.

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