Spinach and quail’s egg salad with sweet and sour dressing

  • serves 4
  • Easy

If you haven't tried quail's eggs, you must. They taste delicious and look beautiful in this winter salad. Only a little pancetta is used in this recipe, giving a bacon flavour without all the fat. For the croutons, try Poilâne sourdough bread, which is stocked in most Waitrose branches.



  • quail’s eggs 12
  • sourdough or ciabatta 2 slices, cubed into 2cm pieces
  • olive oil
  • salad or baby spinach 160g
  • red onion 1 small, sliced into rings
  • pancetta 4 slices, chopped
  • extra-virgin olive oil 5 tbsp
  • garlic 2 cloves, finely chopped
  • caster sugar 1 tbsp
  • cider vinegar 3 tbsp
  • lemon juice 2 tbsp


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/Gas 6. Simmer the quail’s eggs in boiling water for 21/2 minutes then run under cold water to cool. Spread the croutons onto a baking sheet. Drizzle over 1 tbsp of olive oil and season. Bake for 5 minutes or until golden and crisp, then cool.

  • Step 2

    To make the dressing, cook the pancetta without any oil in a small frying pan until crisp then drain on kitchen towel. Add the olive oil and garlic. Cook until lightly golden, then take off the heat and add the sugar, pancetta, vinegar, lemon juice and season. Put back on the heat and whisk together.

  • Step 3

    Arrange the spinach leaves in salad bowls. Peel and halve the eggs and add them to the salad along with the onion and croutons. Pour the warm dressing over the top and toss well.