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Kale Quail Egg Nests

August 2, 2011

breakfast set up

We recently had the chance to stay a few days with the wonderful, welcoming folks at Katywil Farm Community. It’s the kind of place  where people literally drop in for breakfast unannounced. In this case, breakfasts of delicious, ridiculously tiny and charming quail eggs. Our hosts scrambled them with homemade oregano pesto and they were out of this world. And lucky us, on the morning we left, their neighbor who supplies their quail eggs dropped by for breakfast and so we left with a carton of them!

quail eggs in carton

We love quail eggs not only for their flavor, which is indescribably subtler than chicken eggs, but for their ability to make any dish seem gourmet and novel. They’re the perfect size for tapas, as in the recipe we’re sharing with you today. These nests are the result of our desire to use up some kale from our garden and finish off the last of our quail eggs; the outcome is an endlessly versatile dish with a name that is endlessly fun to say! While great as side dishes or to serve tapas style, these little nests are also easy enough to whip up before you’ve had your morning coffee. For a breakfast version, we recommend putting them on sturdy buttered toast or an english muffin and drizzling with hot sauce. Deeeelicious!

kale from the garden

Kale Quail Egg Nests

(makes six nests)

The easiest way to get your quail eggs out of their shells is to use a small sharp knife to cut off the top third of the egg shell – do not attempt to crack them as you would chicken eggs or you will end up with shell mixed in with the egg.


1 bunch Kale – preferably lacinato, washed, stems removed and cut into thin ribbons

6 quail eggs

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

olive oil

salt and pepper


Heat a dutch oven or other pot with a lid over medium heat. Add your kale and a tablespoon or two of water, stir and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally until the kale has wilted fully. When done, remove the lid to cook off any excess liquid.

Meanwhile, heat a splash or two of olive oil in a large skillet (preferably nonstick) set over medium low heat. Add your onion and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Add your garlic and cook another minute until fragrant. Stir in braised kale and cook another minute to allow the flavors to meld. In the pan, separate your kale mixture into six roughly equal portions, and form each into a nest with a small hole in the middle of each. Drop a quail egg into each hole, turn up the heat and allow to fry, adding salt and pepper at this time to taste. Fry to desired level of runny-ness (We like to fry these eggs very quickly, leaving the yolks to run all over the kale), then remove each nest with a spatula in a swift single motion and serve immediately.

quail egg nest with oj

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