Steelhead Trout with Barley and Broth

I made a delicious dinner for my friend Robin, who was recovering from a brutal knee surgery. In the course of preparing dinner, between chatting, drinking a glass of wine and forgetting to buy a few ingredients, I improvised quite a bit. (Plus, I alway add more veggies than recipes suggest because I like them).  The end product was still fabulous.

Original recipe can be found at Eating Well.


1 leek, chopped

I piece of celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1 bay leaf

4 TBSP olive oil

1 cup pearl barley

3 cups water

4 cups chicken broth

½ lemon

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 small turnip, diced

1 TBSP butter

4 – 5 ounce skinned steelhead trout fillets

Salt and pepper

Fresh herbs (tarragon, parsley, basil, marjoram)


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in saucepan and add carrots, leak, celery, turnip and garlic. Let sauté on medium heat until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add barley and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Add water and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook about 30-40 minutes until barley has absorbed water.
  2. Meanwhile, combine broth, lemon and bay leave. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20-25 minutes until reduced. Cover to keep warm. (Remove bay leaf before serving broth).
  3. Sprinkle trout with salt and pepper. Heat saucepan with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add trout and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Turn, baste with butter, and cook another 5-6 minutes (cooking time will vary according to thickness of fish).
  4. To serve, divide barley among 4 bowls. Top with trout and pour broth around barley. Add fresh herbs.

Melinda Hinson