With their mottled, ivory outer shell hiding a most delicate pale blue lining, what delicious treats these tiny morsels make. Add them to a lunch box, picnic or serve with aperitifs by simply tapping, uwrapping and indulgently dipping into fine sea salt. Quails eggs – a quick, easy natural convenience food.

Hard boiling the perfect egg should be an easy task but, cook too long and the white becomes tough and chewy; too short and crack open to find a gooey mess.



But, armed with a timer, the task is simple though I prefer to begin with eggs at room temperature to prevent them cracking when added to the hot water: Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil – the surface bubbles are large and rapid. Carefully add the quails eggs, one-by-one. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer – smaller bubbles and set a timer for 5 minutes; after which remove them from the pan and immediately plunge into icy cold water to prevent any further cooking and an unsightly dark sulphur ring forming around the yolk. Remove from the cold water, allow to completely cool then they are ready to serve...