Icelandic Cod with Barley Risotto

Fresh Cod, Barley and Sage
This recipe is a wonderful mix of Nordic and Southern European flavors and is a great option for those following a Nordic style diet. I am of course bias, but I think the Icelandic wild caught Cod is the best in the world. It’s so fresh and versatile. I grew up eating Cod and today I make Collagen products made from the skin of wild caught Cod. Fresh Icelandic Cod can be found in many stores in the US, even my local fishmonger on Long Island sells Icelandic Cod. I urge you to try it and let me know what you think.
10 minutes 50 minutes 60 minutes
YIELD: 4 servings

Barley Risotto

  • 1 ½ cup barley
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 1 carrot – finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth – keep it close to boiling when you use it
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese — grated
  • Fresh parsley – chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • 1 ½ lb fresh cod – skinless and boneless
  • Fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Arugula
How to Make It — Barley Risotto
  1. Heat a large pan to medium high
  2. Add the olive oil, onion, carrot and garlic and stir until tender
  3. Add the barley and stir it for a minute or two
  4. Add a ladle of the hot chicken stock and continue to stir
  5. When the liquid is almost evaporated, gradually add a ladle of stock and continue stirring
  6. Continue this process for 40-45 minutes letting it gently simmer
  7. When the barley is tender but still has a bit of a bite, turn off the heat, add the Parmesan cheese and parsley and mix it all together. The barley risotto should have a creamy consistency and should be served hot
How to Make It — Cod
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut the Cod into 4 equally big pieces
  3. Heat a large oven safe pan to medium high
  4. Add the butter, olive oil and fresh sage to the pan
  5. When the butter has melted, and the oil is hot, add the Cod to the pan and sear on each side for 1 minute
  6. Season the Cod with salt and pepper and put the pan into the hot oven for up to 6-8 minutes (make sure the pan is oven proof, otherwise use a dish). Just be careful with the time the cod spends in the oven and remember, the fish continues to cook even after you remove it from the oven, so it is better to undercook it and put it back in again than overcooking it
  7. For plating, put the barley risotto onto a plate, some arugula and then the cod. Drizzle quality olive oil over and enjoy