Here’s another one, part of the weekly mission to source and try out ‘something new’, something different. This was interesting and the addition of a fresh fig salad both brightened and lightened the density of the risotto.
- Olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- peeled, medium king prawns
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 160g labne
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1 fresh long red chili, seeded, chopped fine
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
- Heat oil in a large sauce pan on a high heat, cook onion and garlic till soft. Add barley, cook, stirring till coated.
- Add stock, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for a half hour, or till the barley is almost tender.
- Add prawns, simmer uncovered till the barley is tender, liquid absorbed. Add parmesan and arugula, stir to combine.
- Mix the gremolata ingredients in a bowl, serve risotto topped with labne and the gremolata.
Didn’t have labne, so gave that a miss.
The gremolata would do well with a dash of salt and the spicier the chili, the better the piquancy and contrast.
Didn’t mix the arugula into the hot barley mixture – didn’t want it wilted or soggy – so a salad, with arugula, served on the side worked better.
And as for the salad, used whatever was on hand – fresh figs, mixed salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, olives, avocado …
On a visit to Vancouver a few weeks ago, I had a phenomenal Tuna Watermelon Salad at the Fable Kitchen in Kitsilano, with chunks of seared tuna tossed with feta, cucumber, egg, anchovy and guanciale (cured meat from Italy, prepared from pork jowl).
I came across another watermelon salad recipe and it was pretty good. (I can add the seared tuna when I learn how to sear tuna !)
- pitted black olives, roughly chopped
- pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds
- red onion, finely chopped
- unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
- fresh mint, chopped
- goat’s cheese
- pita wedges, to serve
- a whole watermelon
- a dash of Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- a dash of caster sugar
- extra virgin olive oil
- Mix the ingredients for the dressing, set aside.
- In a large bowl mix arugula, olives, seeds, onion, pistachios and mint, set aside.
- With the skin on, cut 2.5 cm slices from the mid section of the watermelon, slice the skin off to make watermelon ‘steaks’, pick out and discard seeds.
- Crumble the goat’s cheese, add to the arugula mixture, add dressing, toss.
- Place a watermelon steak on each plate, top with arugula mixture, serve with the pita wedges.
This one’s a winner – saw the recipe somewhere and remembered to try it out. Light, and satisfying. Prepare earlier, assemble before serving.
- 2 pears and 2 apples, cored, sliced into 1/2 inch rings
- Olive oil, as required
- salt and cracked black pepper
- 60g proscuitto, sliced
- 60 g crushed pistachios
- 60g Roquefort or other blue cheese, crumbled
Prepare the Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 120g Roquefort or other blue cheese
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- Cracked pepper to taste
- Roast the fruit first. Toss the slices with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven till tender. Cool to room temperature.
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender/food processor, blend till smooth. Refrigerate. (Extra dressing can be used later as a dip.)
- Divide the arugula between 4 plates, stack the rings of roasted fruit in the middle, alternating between apple and pear, arrange proscuitto around the fruit. Drizzle dressing over the salad, sprinkle the pistachios and crumble the blue cheese over it all. Ready to go !