Blue ling with pearl barley risotto, Glamis sea kale and wild garlic dressing (serves 4)
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 25g fresh ginger, grated
- ½ a green and ½ a red chilli, chopped
- 200g pearl barley, soaked overnight
- Approx 375ml white wine
- 4 x 150g blue ling fillets, skin removed
- Paprika for dusting
- 150g almonds, toasted
- Olive oil
- 1 bunch wild garlic, washed and patted dry
- 150g Parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- 1 bunch Glamis sea kale
- A pinch of Mara Seaweed’s dulse
- Warm a splash of olive oil in a pan then add the shallot, ginger and chilli. Allow to sweat but do not brown. Then add the barley (soaked overnight then rinsed in cold water) and sweat, with the lid on, for 2 minutes. Add enough wine to cover the barley then simmer until soft.
- Season the fish with salt and paprika. Heat some oil in a pan (until it’s hot but not smoking) then add the fillets, paprika-side down, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place.
- Grind the almonds in a food processor, then add a glug of olive oil, the wild garlic, parmesan and some salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Blanche the sea kale, then drain and add a knob of butter. Season with the dulse.
- To serve: Spoon some risotto onto a plate, top with fish and sea kale and a drizzle of the pesto.
How fishmonger and chef Willie Little came to own his Blairgowrie restaurant is as down-to-earth as the man himself.
Little’s Restaurant has a great reputation, especially for its fish, as you would expect!
‘Because our product is so fresh, I don’t have to hide it with any sauces,’ says chef proprietor Willie Little of the fish at his restaurant Little’s in Blairgowrie.
‘I’m 63 years old and I’ve been cooking since 15, and I think to have too much fancy stuff is the ruination of a piece of fish,’ he adds.
Originally from Kirriemuir, Willie’s no-nonsense approach comes from a wealth of experience in the fish and restaurant industries.
‘As soon as I left school, I went into the hotel business, restaurants and hotels,’ he says.
His appreciation of food comes from his mum, who was a cook in a big estate house, while time spent in the Hebrides, Switzerland and Germany honed his own cheffing skills.
This recipe and interview originally featured in our June 2016 edition.