A flavorful and surprisingly filling salad that showcases the first of this season’s beautiful pink radishes.
3.5 oz [100 g] hulled barley (see note)
2 cod fillets (skin removed)
2 tsp [10 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp [10 ml] Japanese soy sauce
5 to 6 radishes, sliced very thinly
¼ cup [62.5 ml] fresh coriander leaves
2 tbsp [30 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
¼ cup [62.5 ml] large caper berries (or 2 tbsp [30 ml] regular capers)
1 large handful rocket (arugula) leaves
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Pinch fleur de sel or sea salt
Cook barley in salted water according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it is al dente, tender with still a bit of a bite inside. (This may take from 45 minutes to 1h30, depending on the type of barley you’re using). Drain and let cool.
Preheat oven to 400° (200°C). Place the cod fillets on a large piece of parchment paper set on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tsp [10 ml] extra-virgin olive oil and the soy sauce. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Fold and close the parchment paper so as to form a papillote. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (depending on the fillet size) until the fish flakes easily with a form. Let rest at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Squeeze the lime juice in a large salad bowl. Mix in the remaining 2 tbsp [30 ml] extra-virgin olive oil. Add the finely diced shallot and the thinly sliced radishes. Incorporate most of the coarsely chopped coriander leaves, keeping some for presentation, and the caper berries, keeping some with the stem on for presentation. Delicately separate the fish fillets in petal, keeping all cooking juices.
By now, if the barley has come to room temperature, warm it up a bit in the microwave (it shouldn’t be hot). Put the barley and the rocket (arugula) leaves in the salad bowl and mix well. Incorporate the cod petals and its cooking juices, sprinkle with fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper and mix everything together delicately.
Serve in two large bowls, garnished with fresh coriander leaves and stem-on caper berries.
It’s worth using hulled barley (instead of pearl barley) because it is the least processed form of barley. It still has its outer bran layer on so it’s very nutritious and an excellent source of fiber. It also has a better bite and nuttier flavor.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from B Comme Bon.