Rosemary gnocchi with quails eggs

An impressive main course of rosemary-flecked potato dumplings with tarragon hollandaise and quails eggs from Michael Caines
By Michael Caines
Rosemary gnocchi with quails eggs
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: hard


For the poached quails eggs

  • 20-25 quail's eggs
  • splash white wine vinegar

For the rosemary gnocchi

  • 250 g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into even-sized chunks
  • 50 g onions, finely chopped
  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 50 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 2 egg yolks

For the tarragon hollandaise

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ shallots, finely chopped
  • small handful tarragon, finely chopped
  • 6 turns freshly ground white pepper
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • 400 g unsalted butter, melted

To serve

  • knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped


1. For the poached quails eggs: to prepare the quails eggs in advance, bring a pan of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt and splash of white wine vinegar.

2. Crack 10 of the quails eggs into a small bowl.

3. Add a splash of white wine vinegar to the quails eggs 30 seconds before adding them to the water, then gently tip the eggs into the boiling water and poach for 1 minute, or until the yolks just start to set, but remain soft.

4. Remove the eggs using a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of iced water to stop them cooking further. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

5. When cool, trim each egg into a neat round and place on a tray ready to be reheated later.

6. For the rosemary gnocchi: steam the potatoes until tender then pass through a mouli or sieve to purée.

7. Fry the onions in the butter over a low-medium heat for 7-8 minutes, or until soft and translucent, taking care not to let them brown. Stir in the rosemary and set aside to cool.

8. In a large bowl, mix the potatoes with the flour, parmesan, egg yolks and cooled onions and rosemary to form a soft dough. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

9. Tip the gnocchi dough onto a well-floured surface and knead together lightly for 1-2 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a long sausage shape, about 2cm thick. Cut into 2cm pieces and place onto a tray lined with parchment paper.

10. For the tarragon hollandaise: place the vinegar, shallots, tarragon and freshly ground white pepper into a small saucepan. Boil over a high heat until reduced to almost nothing, then add a small splash of water.

11. While the vinegar is reducing, place the egg yolks into a jug blender with the hot water and blend together.

12. Very slowly pour the hot melted butter onto the blended egg yolks and blend to combine. Pour into a bowl, season with salt and white pepper and stir in the vinegar reduction. Cover with cling film and keep warm.

13. To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling salted water and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until they float to the top - once the gnocchi floats, it is cooked.

14. Remove the gnocchi from the water using a slotted spoon and place in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add a knob of butter and pinch of chopped parsley and fry for 2-3 minutes, until glazed with the butter.

15. While the gnocchi is frying, bring a pan of water to a simmer and gently reheat the quails eggs in the simmering water for 1 minute, or until heated through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

15. To serve, spoon the buttered gnocchi into warm serving bowls, arrange the quails eggs around the edge and drizzle with the tarragon hollandaise sauce.

Rate This Recipe