12 quail eggs*
1 pound arugula
1 pound watercress
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 clove garlic, slivered
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. Boil: Settle eggs in the bottom of a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, pull pan off heat, cover and let rest 6 minutes. Rinse under cold water.
2. Arrange: Discard the thick stems from the arugula and watercress. Feather six nests with the greens, working with small bowls and a bird's sense of style. Nestle two unpeeled eggs in the center of each and set out for your guests to admire.
3. Crisp: Heat olive oil, walnut oil, garlic and walnuts in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until garlic is crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool a moment. Stir in vinegar, cautiously; it will spatter. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve: Let your guests crack off the darling speckled shells (have a shell receptacle handy). Drizzle warm vinaigrette over salad.
*Quail eggs are available at many grocery stores and Asian markets. If unavailable, substitute 6 standard eggs. Increase simmering time to 16 minutes.