Tuesday 24 July 2018

Pearl barley salad with sea bass tartare and basil sauce

15 minutes to prepare • 40 minutes to cook Serves 4


Salad today, pizza tomorrow (with me)


Pearl barley is often thought of as a winter grain, a grain for bulking out soups.
It’s not considered to be one of the most exciting ingredients but that really is a shame as it can be fantastic in salads too.
Yes, one of my favorite new ways to eat pearl barley is in this tasty basil and sea bass tartare pearl barley salad!

The great thing about making grain salads is that they are filling and substantial as well as healthy. This barley salad is delicious on it’s own as a light and healthy main meal: the lemon and basil go really well with the slightly chewy pearl barley and crunchy toasted pine nuts, giving it a great texture as well as taste.

I have to admit I hadn’t planned to make this salad initially. But then they invited me out for dinner, and I really really really wanted to go, and I really really really wanted to avoid my family ordering pizza, during my absence.
So I needed something easy, fast and tasty, to feed them with. And, I needed something I could prepare in advance.
Well, this salad is perfect for that. Although I didn’t make a huge batch it did keep well in the fridge for a couple of days. It could also be easily taken to work as a packed lunch.
Buon appetito.

Here are ingredients for the 4-serving recipe:

200 g pearl barley
70 g pine nuts
200 g sea bass fillets
70 g fresh basil
20 g grated Parmesan cheese
1 lime fruit 
EVO oil
salt and pepper

  1. Bring the water to its boiling point and pour the barley in it. Lower the heat and cook it for about 40 minutes, until it is al dente
  2. Drain the barley and drop cold water on it. Then, collect it up in a salad bowl
  3. Meanwhile, place 50 g of pine nuts in a blender. Add 4 tablespoons of EVO oil, Parmesan cheese, basil leaves, a pinch of salt, the juice of half lime fruit. Blend to obtain a smooth pesto
  4. Remove pin bones from sea bass fish fillets: lay the sea bass fillets skin-side down and feel along the length of the fish fillet with your fingertips to check for pin bones. 
    When you locate a pin bone, press the flesh next to the tip gently so that the bone pokes above the surface just slightly and grab this exposed bit of bone with the pliers. Repeat with remaining pin bones until the fish is bone-free
  5. Chop the fish fillets into small pieces and collect them in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of EVO oil, salt, freshly ground pepper and chopped basil leaves
  6. Toast pine nuts in a hot pan and keep them aside
  7. Add basil pesto sauce, sea bass tartare, and toasted pine nuts to the boiled barley. Stir to mix and enjoy!

In the table below Nutrition Facts are detailed for this appetizer. Data is provided per serving.

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