Smoked haddock, barley & spinach salad

Smoked haddock, barley & spinach salad

6 as a main course
30 mins
Cooking time
35 mins
Deidre Rooney

This is a very gutsy salad, good in the autumn and winter. Smoked mackerel – which is already cooked of course – is good instead of haddock. If you want to make this more substantial, a poached egg is lovely on top of each serving.

From the grocer


Quantity Ingredient
25g dijon mustard
100ml white wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon caster sugar
180ml light and fruity extra-virgin olive oil
75ml pouring cream
220g pearl barley
2 tablespoons olive oil
25g butter
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

From the greengrocer

Quantity Ingredient
a good squeeze lemon
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
250g slim or medium leeks, washed, white part only
350g baby english spinach leaves
chives, to serve (optional)

From the fishmonger

Quantity Ingredient
1kg smoked haddock fillet, skin on, bones removed, cut into 6 portions


  1. To make the dressing, put the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper and sugar into a small pitcher and gradually add the extra-virgin olive oil, whisking with a fork as you go. Stir in the cream and taste for seasoning.
  2. Cook the barley in lightly salted boiling water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, rinse in warm water and drain again, shaking out any excess liquid. Transfer to a warm bowl and stir in the olive oil, squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
  3. Steam the leeks until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. If your leeks are very small, use them whole. If using larger leeks cut them into 8 cm lengths. Add them to the bowl with the barley and toss through the spinach and about three-quarters of the dressing. The mixture should be well moistened but not drowning in dressing, so add it gradually. Check for seasoning.
  4. Heat the butter and sunflower oil in two frying pans and cook three pieces of fish in each, flesh side down, over a medium heat until pale golden underneath, about 2 minutes. Turn the fish over, reduce the heat a little and cover both pans. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque. Take the pans off the heat.
  5. Divide the salad between six plates or transfer to a wide shallow serving bowl. Lift the fish flesh off the skin in fairly big chunks and set on top of the salad. Drizzle over the rest of the dressing. Scatter chopped chives on top (if using) and serve immediately.
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