Ras el hanout is a classic blend of spices used in Moroccan cooking, it means 'top of the shop'; the best spice mix that is available in the spice shop. The pistachio pesto recipe is a great accompaniment to this quail and would work well with other roasted or barbecued poultry.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (14 votes)


  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 50 ml pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout (see Note) 
  • 4 medium quail, butterflied
  • 150 g roasted and shelled fresh pistachios
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • sea salt
  • ½ lime, zest and juice
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ bunch mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • flat bread, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 8 hours

Soaking time: 10 minutes

Combine oil, pomegranate molasses and ras el hanout and brush over quail. Refrigerate to marinate for up to 8 hours.

Soak some wooden skewers in water for ten minutes (or you could just use metal skewers). Thread the skewers through the quail.

Preheat a barbecue over high heat. Grind pistachios and garlic with a little sea salt in mortar and pestle (or food processor), transfer to a bowl.

Pound lime zest, parsley and mint in the mortar and pestle with a little salt and mix with nut mixture and remaining ingredients.

Barbecue quail for two to three minutes on each side, (quail should be served pink in the middle) and serve with pesto and flat bread on the side.


A Moroccan spice mix, found at Middle Eastern grocery stores