Recipe courtesy of Abraham Conlon

Composed Salad of Veal Brains, Radish, Anchovy and Quail Egg with Butter Vinaigrette

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 days 55 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 2 days
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Veal brain

1 fresh veal brain, (recommended: organic and milk-fed)

Milk, as needed

Water, needed

Kosher salt

Court bouillon, recipe follows

All-purpose flour, as needed

Cornstarch, as needed

Radishes and Vinaigrette

1 bunch French breakfast radish (about 9 radishes)

6 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup white wine

Sprig fresh thyme

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 quail eggs

1 head of local fresh greens (recommended: butter lettuce, green leaf, lola rosa, etc.)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish

6 white anchovies

Court bouillon

1 onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

2 quarts water

1 cup white wine

Juice of 3 lemons


  1. For Brains:
  2. Be Gentle! Remove all the bone fragments and discolored pieces. Soak the veal brain for 2 days in a combination of lightly salted milk and water. Rinse and poach the brain in court bouillon until slightly firm, about 6 minutes. Shock the brain in ice water and drain. Press the brain in a perforated pan overnight with a weight on top.
  3. Cut the brain into 6 even pieces. Coat the brain pieces with a mixture of equal parts flour and cornstarch. Place the coated brain pieces in the refrigerator until ready to fry.
  4. For Radishes and Vinaigrette:
  5. Cut the radishes in half and braise in the butter, shallots, garlic, white wine, and fresh thyme. Remove the radishes when tender, and then set aside.
  6. To the butter mixture add 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar to make a vinaigrette. Season the vinaigrette with salt, and pepper, to taste. Return the radishes to the braising pan and set aside until ready to plate.
  7. For Quail Eggs:
  8. Poach the whole quail eggs in a 160 degrees F water bath for 7 minutes. Remove the eggs and shock or plunge the eggs in ice water and peel. Transfer the eggs to a small pie dish with warm water. Set aside until ready to plate.
  9. To Assemble and Plate:
  10. Place and season the greens in a large heat-proof bowl.
  11. Warm the vinaigrette until steaming.
  12. Warm the quail eggs in the oven.
  13. In a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed sauce pot, heat the peanut oil or lard to 375 degrees F and deep fry the brain until golden brown. Season the brain well with salt, and pepper, to taste.
  14. Pour the warm butter vinaigrette over the greens and toss to coat completely.
  15. On the plate place 1 piece of fried brain. Top with the greens, radishes, quail egg, and anchovy. Drizzle with any remaining vinaigrette. Serve immediately. Eat Well.

Court bouillon

  1. Combine the onion, celery, garlic, peppercorns, fresh thyme, bay leaf, water, white wine, lemon juice, in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Strain and bring back to a simmer to cook the brains.