Fish Sauce Vinaigrette with Pearled Barley Salad

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The Pasta Man is a young lawyer from Washington, DC. He cooks a lot of pasta and other things, too. He blogs at www.thepastamanblog.com.

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What is it with grain salads? For decades, we didn’t know they existed, and now they’re everywhere. Here’s a hint: they’re delicious.

In this one, I tried out a new grain: pearled barley. It’s sort of like farro, but a little less nutty and a little more… barley-ey? It’s great for a weeknight, since it boils up to al dente in fifteen minutes.

This fish sauce vinaigrette, adapted from The Kitchn, pulls everything together nicely with tart, umami, and salty notes. Although fish sauce is famously not fishy, here, I play up the seafood element by pairing the sauce with griddled scallops (scallops a la plancha). To get a beautiful crust on the scallops (or any protein), I recommend salting them a day before and leaving uncovered in the fridge. I paired it with roasted brussels sprouts, too, for vegetal, crispy, chewy deliciousness.

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Fish Sauce Vinaigrette with Pearled Barley Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup pearled barley
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • Half a bundle of scallions, sliced
  • Protein of choice, cooked to taste – I used scallops

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Blend the vinegar, fish sauce, honey, and olive oil in your Magic Bullet.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the pearled barley in heavily salted water for fifteen minutes or until al dente. Rinse with cold water to cool.
  4. Toss the brussels sprouts with a dash of olive oil and a hefty dash of salt and roast in the oven until crispy and brown, about twenty minutes.
  5. Toss brussels, scallions, barley, and protein with the vinaigrette.
  6. Enjoy!

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