Steelhead Trout with Creamy Barley & Herb Salad

Steelhead Trout with Creamy Barley & Herb Salad

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From: EatingWell Magazine, October 2019

Steelhead and rainbow trout are the same species, but steelhead are anadromous, meaning that, like salmon, they migrate from the ocean to freshwater to spawn. Salmon and arctic char are a good substitute if you have trouble finding steelhead. The creamy barley the fish is served with has a texture similar to risotto, and toasting the grains before cooking gives the dish a nutty flavor. A knob of fresh horseradish is worth seeking out for this; it has a more nuanced flavor than jarred. Serve this healthy fish recipe with a glass of chenin blanc for an elegant and hearty dinner.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 2 tablespoons chopped leek plus ⅔ cup finely diced leek top, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped carrot plus ½ cup finely diced, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, divided
  • 1 fresh parsley stem plus ½ cup parsley leaves, divided
  • ⅛ bay leaf plus 1 whole bay leaf, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • ½ cup finely diced peeled turnip
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sliced fresh chives plus 1 cup 1½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 (5 ounce) skinned steelhead trout fillets
  • 1½ teaspoons cracked pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chervil leaves


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Place chopped leek, chopped carrot, celery, 1 garlic clove, parsley stem, ⅛ bay leaf and peppercorns on a double layer of cheesecloth. Bundle up and tie with kitchen string to create a sachet. Gently smash the sachet to release some of the aromas. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add barley and cook, stirring, until toasted, 1 to 3 minutes. Add water and the sachet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is mostly absorbed and the barley is tender and creamy, 35 to 40 minutes. Discard the sachet.
  2. Meanwhile, combine broth, lemon, cinnamon stick and the remaining whole bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook until reduced to 2½ cups, 20 to 25 minutes. Strain (discard solids). Cover to keep warm.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add turnip and the remaining diced leek top and carrot; cook, stirring, until just tender, about 1 minute. Stir the vegetables into the barley along with 1 tablespoon butter, sliced chives, horseradish and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover to keep warm. Wipe out the skillet.
  4. Sprinkle trout with cracked pepper and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in the skillet over medium-low heat. Add the trout and cook for 8 minutes. Turn the trout and add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, 1 garlic clove and thyme. Cook, basting once or twice with the butter mixture, until the fish flakes with a fork, about 6 minutes more.
  5. To serve, combine the remaining parsley leaves, chive pieces, tarragon and chervil in a small bowl. Divide the barley among 4 bowls. Top each with a piece of trout and some of the herbs. Pour ⅔ cup of the warm broth around the barley. Sprinkle with more herbs and drizzle with the remaining ½ tablespoon oil.
  • Equipment: Cheesecloth, kitchen string

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 4 oz. fish, 1 cup barley, ⅔ cup broth and ½ cup herbs
  • Per serving: 646 calories; 33 g fat(8 g sat); 10 g fiber; 48 g carbohydrates; 39 g protein; 73 mcg folate; 96 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 4,415 IU vitamin A; 27 mg vitamin C; 137 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 752 mg sodium; 1,020 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (88% daily value), Vitamin C (45% dv), Iron (28% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 4½ fat, 4 lean protein, 2½ starch, 1½ vegetable

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