8 handfuls spelt berries (spelt kernels)
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, fronds reserved and white parts cubed
4 Goatsbridge rainbow trout fillets, seasoned with sea salt
2 small shallots, finely sliced
12 tsp. white wine vinegar
4-6 handfuls samphire
2 pink grapefruits, halved
4 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed in a mortar and pestle
8 handfuls picked dill, (half of it finely chopped)
4 handfuls watercress
4 handfuls picked parsley leaves
Goatsbridge Trout & Spelt Berry Salad
This fabulous looking Goatsbridge trout and spelt berry salad with tangy grapefruit and herb dressing was given to us by Aoife Carrigy, an editor and freelance journalist specialising in food, wine and travel. She is Chairperson of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild and a regular contributor to publications including Food & Wine Magazine, CARA, The Irish Independent and Image Interiors.
You can find Aoife’s original version on page 38 of Fishwives, along with 77 more fish and trout recipes in a cookbook by Goatsbridge, where all the profits from the sale of the book will be going to an amazing charity called Hospice Africa Uganda. available from select bookstores or online.
Soak the spelt berries overnight in water. Drain and rinse and simmer for one hour or until cooked (soft but with a pleasantly chewy bite). Drain and allow to cool before placing in a large salad bowl.
In a large hot pan over a medium heat, gently soften the cubed fennel in several tablespoons of olive oil. Once soft and lightly browned, remove the fennel from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Add the fish fillets, flesh-side-down and cook for a minute before turning to cook skin-side-down for 4-5 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the flesh almost cooked through. Once the fish is cooked, allow to cool slightly skin-side-down on some kitchen paper.
Meanwhile, prepare the other elements of the salad. Finely slice shallots and place in a small bowl with the vinegar to soften. Rinse the samphire and steam for 3-4 minutes or until lightly cooked. Cool in cold water and set aside. To segment the grapefruit, run a sharp knife around the inside of each half and to loosen each segment before scooping out with a spoon and into the large salad bowl with the spelt.
Remove the shallot from the vinegar and toss into the salad bowl with the fennel cubes. Mix the remaining vinegar with two parts olive oil into a dressing, add the finely chopped dill, season with sea salt and crushed pink peppercorns and sharpen with lemon juice to taste. Dress the salad lightly with some of the dressing, reserving at least half of it.
Top the salad with the cooked samphire, watercress and parsley leaves. Flake the trout flesh into the salad. You can chop the crisped skin into the salad also if you like. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.