Saturday, June 2, 2012

An evening with a Friar's beard...

Yesterday evening we had a wonderful menu: 
Fish with tomatoes, olives and anchovies, fresh French asparagus, opposite leaved saltwort with lemon accompanied by homemade bread.

The menu was such a delight and I must draw your attention to the opposite leaved saltwort or barba di frate in Italian (friar's beard). It's a salty (it grows in coastal regions and can be irrigated with saltwater) and a little bit grassy but it was an absolute culinary revelation and I want you all to taste it! Here is the recipe:

Serves 2 persons:
1 bunch of Barba di Frate 
2-3 slices of lemon (or more)
1 teaspoon sugar
Butter/Olive oil extra vergine
Aceto balsamico (the best you can get)
Salt and pepper

Cut the lemon in small cubes, add the sugar and fry in butter and olive oil for about 5-10 minutes until crisp.
Wash the salsola soda and boil in a very small amount of water for about 3-5 minutes. Should still be a bit crunchy when you take it out from the pan.

Put the barba on a plate, put the lemon cubes on top, add some pepper, salt and aceto and then fly to heaven!

The vegetable's season is about to end (March to May) so if you like to try the recipe you better hurry.

Hereafter comes the recipe for the fish which was just as beautiful:

Fish fillets (I used cod fish)
Olive oil
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Pittet black olives, sliced
Anchovies in olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice
Basil leaves, roughly chopped

Pat dry the fish with kitchen paper. Heat a frying pan with the oil until hot. Season the fish and fry until done. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

Tip the cherry tomatoes into the pan and add the olives and anchovies. Toss over high heat for a couple of minutes, adding a squeeze of lemon juice, and cook until the tomatoes have softened slightly. Toss in the basil. 

Add the fish on a plate and place the tomato mixture over the fish.

It was a mild evening and our neighbors had a party with wonderful music and while we sat on the balcony, we felt like in a lounge somewhere far away....

Could one start a weekend better?I don't think so!

♥  Emilie's daughter ♥ 


  1. Christa, it all looks wonderful: the neoghbours, the music and... the food is delicious! The Barba di Frate I had in Italy was more like a type of lettuce. This is more like the wonderful stuff called samphire, which grows on the coast: a marsh or sea plant, and I love it!

    Your recipe is fantastic, the pictures look good and I just want to eat your food!

    The fish dish is exciting and I promise to make it!

    PS: It's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, here, and the world has gone crazy! moe people in the shop, than on Christmas Eve!



  2. Was für ein tolles Menu and what a wonderful evening!

    ♥ Franka