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Warm Barley and Cod Salad


Warm Barley and Cod Salad

This nutritious Warm Barley and Cod Salad is extra easy and make-ahead friendly, yet combines flavors and textures masterfully.

Warm Barley and Cod Salad //

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Here’s an easy, nutritious summer meal idea for you: This Barley and Cod Salad is extra easy to make, yet combines flavors and textures masterfully. The nutty barley, flaky cod, crunchy greens, peppery radishes, and meaty caperberries come together in a dish that assembles in minutes. The salad can be served warm or cold, and it can be made in advance, too. Simply everything together and refrigerate, setting the greens aside to fold them into the salad last minute. In other words, this Warm Barley and Cod Salad is a supremely unfussy dish you’ll want to bring to any and every picnic or summer potluck!

Warm Barley and Cod Salad //

Helpful Tips for Making Warm Barley and Cod Salad

  • Learn to papillote: Cod is a type of fish that lends itself to salads really well, because it cooks in minutes and separates into beautiful flakes you can then delicately fold with other ingredients. In this recipe, the cod is baked “en papillote”—that is, wrapped in parchment paper—to keep it super moist and trap the cooking juices in. You’ll pour those flavorful juices in the salad so be extra-careful not to spill it when you unwrap the fish!
  • Get your hands on caperberries: Capers and caperberries are related, but they’re two different ingredients: both come from the caper bush. Capers are the plant’s flower buds, whereas caperberries are the fruits. Caperberries are usually sold pickled and they have a meaty and crunchy texture, and a bright, tangy taste. They’re just wonderful in salads! You should find them in the condiment/pickle section of your grocery store (weirdly, I never see them stocked around regular capers, which are usually in the pasta/pasta sauce section).
  • Go hulled, not pearled: Hulled barley is the least processed form of barley. Contrary to pearl barley, hulled barley retains its outer bran layer, which means it’s more nutritious and an excellent source of fiber. Hulled barley also has a better bite and nuttier flavor.
  • Stock up on cooked barley: Barley takes a bit of time to cook (40-50 minutes, give or take), so I like to cook a big batch, then divide the cooked, cooled barley in portions in airtight containers and freeze it. You can transfer a container to the fridge overnight to defrost, or microwave it for a minute or two. Barley is a lovely, healthy grain that is delicious in a variety of dishes, such as bowls and soups!

Warm Barley and Cod Salad //

Warm Barley and Cod Salad //

Warm Barley and Cod Salad

This nutritious Warm Barley and Cod Salad is extra easy and make-ahead friendly, yet combines flavors and textures masterfully.
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Marie Asselin,


For the barley

For the cod

  • 2 cod fillets skin removed, about 5 oz (150 g) each
  • 2 tsp 10 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp 10 ml shoyu (Japanese soy sauce, preferably a low sodium variety)

For the salad

  • Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lime about 2 tbsp/30 ml
  • 2 tbsp 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup 62 ml caperberries, sliced in half (keep the stem on for presentation, but don’t eat it), or 1 tbsp/30 ml regular capers
  • 5 to 6 radishes sliced very thin
  • 1 tbsp 15 ml minced shallot (about 1/2 shallot)
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large handful watercress or arugula, or baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup 60 ml fresh coriander leaves


  • For the barley: Rinse the barley in cold water, then drain well. Place the grains in a medium saucepan and add the water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the grains are tender yet chewy, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes to steam. Drain off any excess water and set aside.
  • For the cod: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut out a large square of parchment paper. Lay it flat on a working surface, then set the cod fillets side-by-side on one side of the square. Drizzle the cod with the olive oil and shoyu and season with ground black pepper. Fold the parchment paper over the fish, then fold over about 1 in (0.75 cm) of the edge over, pressing down to make a crisp crease. Repeat to fold and seal the 2 remaining sides in order to create a sealed packet. Transfer the packet to a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cod rest while you prepare the rest of the salad. (You can also prepare the cod in advance: let the fish cool to room temperature, then transfer, along with the cooking juices, to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
  • For the salad: In a large salad bowl, mix the lime juice and olive oil together. Add the warm barley (reheat it slightly if you cooked it in advance), caperberries, radishes, and shallot, and toss to combine. Season with the flaky sea salt and some black pepper, then toss again. Break the cod into flakes, then add to the salad, along with the cooking juices, watercress, and coriander. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve immediately.

Did you make this?

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Author: Marie Asselin

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


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