Grilled Quail Salad

You can also make this main dish salad with grilled Cornish game hens.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Marinate Time:
2 hrs
Grill Time:
12 mins
Total Time:
65 mins


  • 4 quail (about 1-1/2 lb. total)

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoon snipped fresh sage

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto

  • 4 red or purple plums, halved and pitted

  • 8 ounce torn mixed baby greens (about 8 cups)

  • 3 ounce Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup)

  • ½ cup toasted walnuts

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Port Dressing

  • 1 cup port wine

  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  1. Using kitchen shears, cut through backbone of each quail. Turn bone-side down and gently press down to flatten each quail. Arrange quail in a single layer in a shallow dish. For marinade, in bowl combine oil, sage, salt, and pepper. Pour marinade over quail. Turn once to coat. Cover; marinate in refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours, turning quail occasionally. Prepare Port Dressing; set aside.

  2. Cut prosciutto lengthwise into 8 strips. Halve and pit 4 red or purple plums. Wrap prosciutto around plums, securing with toothpicks. Set aside.

  3. Drain quail; discard marinade. For charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around drip pan. Place quail, bone side down, on rack above drip pan. Cover; grill 12 to 15 minutes or until no longer pink. Place plums over coals the last 4 minutes of grilling, turning once. (Or place quail on unheated rack of broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat 10 to 12 minutes or until no longer pink; turn once. Add plums last 4 minutes of broiling; turn once.)

  4. In a very large bowl toss half of the dressing with torn mixed baby greens. Divide among 4 plates. Top with quail halves and plums. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese and toasted walnuts. Season with pepper. Serve with dressing. Makes 4 servings.

Port Dressing

  1. In a saucepan combine port wine and shallots. Simmer, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Cool slightly. In a bowl whisk together port mixture, extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.

*Cornish Game Hen Option:

If quail are not readily available , substitute two 1-1/4- to 1-1/2-pound Cornish game hens. Using kitchen shears, half hens splitting breast and backbone. Marinate hens for 6 to 24 hours. Grill hens as above about 50 minutes or until 180 degree F. Or place hens, bone side up, on unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until 180 degree F, turning once.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

998 Calories
71g Fat
36g Carbs
43g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 998
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 71g 91%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 142mg 47%
Sodium 991mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 43g
Vitamin C 28.9mg 145%
Calcium 181.7mg 14%
Iron 8.6mg 48%
Potassium 1033mg 22%
Folate, total 100.8mcg
Vitamin B-12 1mcg
Vitamin B-6 1.3mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.