Pesto is such a great addition to bland food – pearl barley, pasta, tossed on boiled vege of ripped through your favourite pizza dough base (personal favourite!) I’m not a regular to the jar of shop bought but sometimes a tablespoon of the punchy stuff is needed, homemade or not. Pesto is all about the basic ingredients (Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, nuts, lemon and oil) mixed until you get the right balance. Basil and pine nuts if you’re a traditionalist but its also delicious with other nuts or herbs. As usual, my lazy self can’t be bothered to weigh so the ‘handful’ measurement has come in again here….I have averaged-small sized hands so do as you please…
Pearl Barley with Walnut, Mint and Basil Pesto
- 120g pearl barely
- Handful walnuts
- Handful grated parmesan
- ½ lemon
- Large bunch basil and mint, leaves picked
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 x salmon fillets
- Slow roasted balsamic onions (see here)
- Toast the walnuts in a hot dry frying pan until fragrant or roast in a hot oven for about 6 minutes until warm and smelling delicious!
- Transfer to a pestle and mortar or a food processor. Pulse until you have fine crumbs with texture.
- Add the herbs, garlic and cheese and blend. Season and thin out with the lemon juice and enough oil to get the right consistency for your liking.
- Taste and adjust with more of the above.
- Cook your pearl barely until tender in a pan of simmering water. When ready, drain and toss liberally with the pesto. Stir through a few whole walnuts and chopped herbs too if you like. Set aside at room temperature
- Roast the salmon in a 200°C preheated oven or pan fry, skin side down until crisp and cooked.
- Serve the barely topped with salmon, a spoonful of roasted balsamic onions if you like (see here). Drizzle with a good oil and scatter with mint. Serve with greens beans or similar…