There were moutons, poules and potatoes, and we ate quail eggs en cocotte

Quails eggs en cocotte with smoked salmon, leek and zucchini

It happened on a Tuesday when Lulu was at home with me. It was sunny in a way that made you know Spring was coming and the best thing to do was to be outside. To see nature. To feel connected with it. I wanted this in view of the recent world events. I knew I was in need of it. I knew, too, that Lulu would love it. For her own reasons. Those simple ones of a two-year old who wants to play.

Tu veux aller à la ferme ?” (Do you want to go to the farm?) I asked her when it became clear that she was not going to go down for her usual afternoon nap. She’s skilfully learned to fight her naps–regretfully–whenever she stays at home with me.

Moutons, poules !” (Sheep, chicken!) she exclaimed in an enthusiastic voice.

I looked at her, surprised.

Where had she learned that? I wondered. We had not seen sheep and chicken for a while. Maybe the last time was when we traveled to Belle-Ile en mer? Could she have remembered?

She walked to the end of the family room, picked up her toy phone and started to talk cheerfully. The conversation was with her friends: she was telling each one of them individually where she was going to go.

Ella, Mea,….poules…..moutons….Nora…

It felt warming to hear her sound happy and innocent in this simple manner.

And so, off to the farm we went.


The afternoon and the time we spent at Drumlin farm, a short 15 minute drive from our house, felt just like that.

I felt lucky to be there with Lulu. We like being at the farm.

We strolled slowly, taking our time to appreciate the quietness and tranquility of the place. The ground was starting to show new grass between patches of snow. Soon, it would all melt away. Finally.

At this time of year, we were able to see baby goats. Soon, baby sheep and piglets will be born as well. I’ve promised Lulu that we’ll come back for that.

Les poules maman !” she exclaimed again as she pulled me by the hand. She’d realized she liked the sheep we saw when we first arrived, but not from too close.

I laughed.

Of course, chicken would feel more manageable. More to her size.

I wanted to buy fresh eggs but the lady at the entrance told me that I was coming too late and they were out them.

On achète des pommes de terre à la place ?” I asked Lulu when I spotted a basket full of potatoes on a shelf.

I bought 3 pounds.

But still, I was thinking about eggs. At home, we love eating eggs and we eat a lot of them. Then I remembered about the box of quail eggs I had in the fridge, a snack that Lulu has been enjoying at daycare.

Quail Eggs

Oeufs en cocotte ! (Baked eggs) I went on thinking.

The truth is that over the last week, I’ve been playing with nice recipe ideas to prepare baked eggs. This one uses quail eggs cooked on a bed of sauteed leek and julienned zucchini, smoked salmon and crème fraiche. It’s simple. It’s earthy.

You can’t go wrong with any dish that has leeks and quail eggs in it,” P. said after eating the first bite.

He was right. We both feel this way.

About this recipe too: a cute and healthy appetizer to start dinner, whether dressed up or casual.

Tasty and comforting both ways.

And by the way, a very happy St Patrick’s day to my Irish friends & family!

Quail eggs en cocotte with leek, julienned zucchini and smoked salmon

(For 6 appetizers)

You need:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small zucchini, julienned finely
  • 1 small leek, white part only, chopped finely
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 3 small slices of smoked salmon, finely diced
  • 6 quail eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and have a shallow baking dish ready with 6 ramekins in it.
  • In a frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add the leek and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Sweat for 4 minutes, without browning.
  • Coat the bottom of each ramekin with 1 teaspoon of crème fraiche.
  • Divide the mixture of leek and zucchini between them and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Top with the smoked salmon.
  • Break one quail egg carefully in each ramekin and add 1 teaspoon crème fraiche around the yolk. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Fill the large baking dish with water, half way to the top of the side of the ramekins, and bake the oeufs cocottes for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the egg white is set but the egg yolk stays runny. Serve them with mouillettes (small sticks of bread) on the side.
Le coin français
Oeufs de caille en cocotte avec poireau, courgette et saumon fumé

(Pour 6 entrées)

Ingrédients :

  • 15 g de beurre non salé
  • 1 petite courgette, coupée en julienne
  • 1 petit poireau, partie blanche, émincé finement
  • Selt de mer et poivre
  • 4 càs de crème fraiche
  • 1 càs d’estragon haché
  • 1 càs de persil haché
  • 3 petites tranches de saumon fumé, coupées en dés
  • 6 oeufs de caille

Etapes :

  • Préchauffez le four à 200 C et disposez 6 ramequins dans un plat allant au four.
  • Dans une poêle, faites fondre le beurre. Ajoutez le poireau et la courgette. Salez et poivrez et faites suer pendant 4 minutes.
  • Mettez 1 càc de crème fraiche dans chaque ramequin.
  • Arrangez la préparation aux poireau/courgette et ajoutez les herbes fraiches. Ajoutez les dés de saumon.
  • Cassez délicatement un oeuf dans chaque ramequin et ajoutez 1 càc de crème fraiche autour du jaune. Salez et poivrez.
  • Faites cuire les oeufs en cocotte au bain marie au four pendant 10 à 12 minutes, jusqu’à ce que le blanc soit pris mais le jaune reste coulant. Servez les oeufs en cocotte avec des mouillettes.


  1. Love it! We also love Drumlin Farm, and also Codman Farm (where you can buy their meats on the honor system)! Your little ramekins are too adorable.

  2. What a lovely-looking visit to the farm.

    This dish looks as delicate as a quail egg but rich in flavor and color. Just delightful.

  3. I love the way you present such a gorgeous little recipe inbetween wonderful photos and stories from the country 🙂


  4. I can smell the snow melting! Lovely! So nice for Lulu to experience the farm animals, all children should spend time on a farm.

  5. j’adoooore les oeufs cocotte … c’est si amusant d’inventer plein de variantes, rustiques ou raffinées !

  6. I miss days spent with my son in this way, now that he is older. Yes, it is so important to stay connected with nature. The world we live in today seems to be taking us further and further away from it. It’s only when it asserts itself in such powerful ways that we understand how much we need to be more a part of it, pay attention to it, not try to change it so . . . . I’ve been thinking a lot about eggs too. Spring? Your photos are delicious!

  7. I love Drumlin Farm. You took some gorgeous pictures and it looks like Lulu had a wonderful time. Don’t forget Woolapalooza at the farm is coming soon. She’ll love it!

  8. Happy hens, happy piglets, happy kids, (as in baby goats) and one happy child!

  9. Your photos are always so gorgeous!
    I really wonder how beautiful your family photo album must look like *__*

  10. On a des activités en commun pr les enfants… et ils ont des réactions communes. Jack préfère largement observer les moutons depuis son réhausseur ds la voiture que de s’en approcher finalement…
    recette des boulettes de poulet et sauge demandée (sur mon compte flickR, tu te souviens), recette dévoilée
    C’est marrant car je pensais la meme chose que Lua recemment à propos de tes photos… Lulu va avoir de très beaux souvenirs de son enfance!
    A bientot!

  11. We love the Drumlin–were just there for the pancake breakfast, and we have a lot of pictures of our little 3 year old running around to see all the animals. This time the chicken house was our favorite…

  12. dans le new jersey, ça fait une semaine que la neige a enfin fondu!
    aujourd’hui, le temps était si doux que même les enfants jouaient sans manteaux dans le jardin après l’école.
    C’est article est vraiment très beau. Doux et agréable comme tout les autres, mais le bout de printemps pointant le bout de son nez le rend particulier!

  13. lovely pictures! i also adore the polka dot pots for the oeufs cocottes. where are they from, what brand are they?


  14. Bea, all these images of a day in the country are heart-warming, but your tiny daughter in the midst of the snow-covered meadow really pulled on my heartstrings! So very precious, memories of each of the four of mine at such a young age welled up. They grow so fast! I remember the discovery of new words, where one did not know how and when they had picked them up (ours like yours grew up bilingual). I wish you joy and happiness to no end!

    I recently discovered a farmer who sells his organic quail eggs at the market here. I will remember your en cocotte recipe next time I go there. Merci for sharing it! 🙂

  15. your little quail en cocotte looks beautiful and so do the shots of the animal farm. Right now it is pouring down again but we also had a few sunshine days… Spring to come soon I hope!

  16. What a fun day! I I’m going to have to take a trip out to Lincoln to this farm – it looks so cute! And your eggs look delish. I haven’t experimented much with quail eggs – but I should!

  17. I love your Blog. I am so glad I found you. I did make your Tiramisu for my son 13th birthday. Thank you.

  18. Beautiful pictures, and merci for the reminder to make oeufs en cocotte, so simple but sooooooooo good.

  19. Superbes photos! Un vrai moment d’évasion! Hum, l’odeur de la ferme et quel plaisir pour les enfants! Et c’est qu’il y a encore de la neige en plus! C’est surprenant!

  20. Love the use of quail eggs….ces jolis petits oiseaux sont de caille.
    Last year, for a singles Valentines party, I ‘deviled’ 30 of these tiny gems, and let me tell you…il y avait quelques suevivants precieux intact de cette!
    Meantime, seeing your luscious photographs, I am worried I will make a phone call later today and order up a dozen live birds to keep my own supply of oefs on hand, as no stores locally carry quail eggs…it is illeagle to have foul here, but I am certain I can hide them… me souhaiter bonne chance!

  21. If eggs had a season, it would be spring for me, probably because of easter. I love your little cocottes. And the pictures at the farm! You can make the best even of low, still wintery sun.

  22. The baked eggs look so pretty! A perfect lunch.
    Lulu the little farm girl. Your trip sounded lovely.

  23. Oh my gosh, those ramekins are adorable! I’ve been on the hunt for similar ones, long handles being the priority. Do you know where I can purchase similar ones?

    Thank you for always sharing such heartwarming stories of your family. They often remind me of my own childhood. <3

  24. les oeufs cocotte… great in 2 minutes in the microwave… thanks for the recipe… (I cook them with cream and mint, parsley and ciboulette)…

  25. How lucky you are to have that lovely farm nearby! I would love to take my little one to a place like that but we live smack in the center of the city!

    This dish looks amazing! I will try this soon…

  26. Thank you thank you everyone. I bought the ramekins during one of my visits to France. There isn’t a brand I am afraid. They seem to be generic.

    I bought quail eggs at HMart near Boston.

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