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.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, October 2019


Recipe Summary

45 mins
1 hr 15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place chopped leek, chopped carrot, celery, 1 garlic clove, parsley stem, 1/8 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.

  • 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 2 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes. Strain (discard solids). Cover to keep warm.

  • 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 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover to keep warm. Wipe out the skillet.

  • Sprinkle trout with cracked pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat 1 1/2 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.

  • 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 2/3 cup of the warm broth around the barley. Sprinkle with more herbs and drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil.


Equipment: Cheesecloth, kitchen string

Nutrition Facts

4 oz. fish, 1 cup barley, 2/3 cup broth and 1/2 cup herbs
646 calories; protein 38.5g; carbohydrates 48.4g; dietary fiber 9.9g; sugars 4.3g; fat 33.4g; saturated fat 7.8g; cholesterol 96mg; vitamin a iu 4415.2IU; vitamin c 26.8mg; folate 73mcg; calcium 137.4mg; iron 4.6mg; magnesium 94.5mg; potassium 1020.1mg; sodium 751.9mg.

4 1/2 fat, 4 lean protein, 2 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable