"This is a great light dish that can be adapted easily with seasonal dressings," says Grossi. "The Romans used a lot of barley in their cooking, so we've added a little to this dish to give it a Roman twist." Start this recipe five days ahead to sprout the barley, or simply leave it out if it's a bridge too far.
- 50 gm (¼ cup) pearl barley
- 500 gm kingfish, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp colatura di alici (see note), or to taste
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3½ tsp lemon juice, or to taste
- ½ telegraph cucumber, plus extra peeled and diced, to serve
- ½ bunch sorrel, washed, plus extra very thinly sliced to serve
- 50 gm baby spinach leaves
- 1Rinse barley under cold water, place in a bowl, cover with cold water and refrigerate overnight. Drain barley, rinse well and drain again. Transfer to two sterilised one-litre jars, cover with a double layer of muslin and secure with a rubber band. Place jars upside down in a bowl to catch the water and store at about 20°C. Every 12 hours or so, pour cold water into jars and swirl to rinse grains, then pour off water and replace muslin, keeping the jars inverted until barley sprouts (1-5 days). Rinse barley well, drain and refrigerate in a jar for up for up to 3 days.
- 2For the garum dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl to combine.
- 3For sorrel-cucumber sauce, blend ingredients with 150ml cold water in a blender until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve, season to taste and refrigerate until needed.
- 4To serve, dot plates with sorrel-cucumber sauce, brush kingfish with garum dressing, arrange on plates and dot with a little more sauce. Scatter with sprouted barley, extra cucumber and sorrel, and season with a little olive oil and sea salt.
Colatura di alici is an Italian fermented fish sauce; it's a lot stronger than a Thai fish sauce so you don't need to use as much. It's available online from lario.com.au. If it's unavailable, substitute another fish sauce to taste.
Drink suggestion: A soave, such as Soave la Rocca Pieropan from Veneto. Drink suggestion by Carlo Grossi.