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Shaved Vegetable Salad with Brown-Butter Barley and Seared Salmon

Servings: 4

The seared salmon and barley sautéed with brown butter add a warming touch to this pretty, Nordic-inspired salad. Boneless trout fillets are a nice substitute, too, if fresh salmon is unavailable. If you prefer an even easier option, try topping the shaved vegetables with a few thin slices of smoked salmon or trout.


For the barley

  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley

For the cream sauce

  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh dill
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 scant tsp. Dijon mustard

For the vegetables

  • 1/2 large fennel bulb
  • 2 medium ribs celery
  • 2 medium Persian cucumbers or 1 large english cucumber
  • 1 small watermelon radish or 4 red radishes, trimmed
  • 1 medium chioggia (candy cane beet) or 1/2 medium black radish, quartered if large
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 3 medium Belgian endives, separated into leaves and cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Flaky sea salt

For the salmon

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 4 4-oz. pieces salmon, preferably wild-caught, about 3/4 inch thick
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • 4 slices Swedish rye bread, toasted and buttered, for serving (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 660
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 330
  • Fat (g): 36
  • Saturated Fat (g): 11
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Cholesterol (mg): 110
  • Sodium (mg): 1130
  • Carbohydrates (g): 50
  • Fiber (g): 10
  • Sugar (g): 8
  • Protein (g): 34


Cook the barley

  • Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the barley and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, cool, and chill thoroughly. (The barley can be made up to 4 days ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator.)

Make the cream sauce

  • In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, mayonnaise, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard. (The cream can be made up to 4 days ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator.)

Prepare the vegetables

  • Using a mandoline, cut the fennel, celery, cucumbers, radishes, and onion crosswise into paper-thin slices. Combine the vegetables with the endives and parsley in a medium bowl. Add the oil, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. salt, and toss to coat. Divide the vegetables evenly among four plates.

Sear the salmon

  • Melt the butter in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until nut brown, about 2 minutes. Add the barley and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer the barley to a medium bowl; cover and keep warm.
  • Add the oil to the same skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of each piece of salmon with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add the salmon to the skillet skin side down and cook until just golden brown on the bottom, about 1 minute. Flip and continue to cook until browned on the second side and not quite opaque in the center, about 1 minute longer.
  • Lay a piece of salmon on top of each salad. Top with a dollop of cream, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve with rye toast, if you like.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • user-5017011 | 03/25/2018

    I made it with swordfish and it was great. The salad needs more citrus in my opinion. Added some orange juice and extra lemon. Fresh and light dinner.

  • Kate323 | 02/16/2018

    I took liberties with what winter vegetables were available (endive, celery, cucumber, red onion, radishes, carrots), but everything about this dish was delicious! The simple sauce and rye bread elevated this to a restaurant-quality dinner.

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