Bodacious Beans and Bass

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 
Six servings

This dish was actually created as an entry for the Association for Healthcare Foodservice’s Culinary Competition in Orlando last month. But Food and Nutrition Director Joanne McMillian and Executive Chef Aatul Jain have found success with this dish, not only as the gold-medal winner in the competition, but as a popular item on the catering menu and at special events. Despite its upscale appearance, the dish comes in at only $5.68 per portion.

“We initially got inspiration for our dish from a ‘citrus’ salmon that is on our room service menu,” Jain explains. “The salmon is marinated, grill marked and then finished to order. We plan to use the citrus seafood concept in our retail and catering offering more now than in the past due to its newfound popularity. Using citrus with zest and fresh herbs also helps keep nutritionals in check since we use less oil and salt.”


2 tbsp. grated orange zest
2 tbsp. grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
2 tbsp. fresh chopped lemon thyme
2/3 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon-flavored olive oil
6 3-oz. pieces boneless, skinless black sea bass
2 tbsp. olive oil (to sear fish)

Vegetarian Refried Bean & Farro Cakes
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 bay leaves
2 oz. diced white onion
3/4 oz. fresh chopped garlic
3 oz. dry pearled farro
10 oz. water
1 tsp. low-sodium chicken base
16 oz. 2% milk
8 oz. vegetarian refried beans
1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 tbsp. finely chopped chives
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Fennel-Orange Slaw
Yield: Six portions
4 oz. shaved fennel
2 oz. julienned yellow beets
2 oz. finely julienned carrots
18 fresh orange segments
6 tbsp. shaved purple cauliflower stalks
1 tsp. blood orange-scented olive oil
2 tsp. white grapefruit balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh chiffonade parsley
2 tbsp. chopped chives

Romesco Sauce
Yield: 6, 1/5-tablespoon portions
2 roasted red peppers
12 raw almonds
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 oz. lemon juice

Cilantro Sorrel Pesto
Yield: Six 1.5 tablespoon portions
2 oz. cilantro
2 oz. sorrel leaves
3/4 oz. pistachio nuts
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. water

Papadum Crisp
Yield: Six portions, two crisps each
2 papadum crackers, cut into 1/6 sections


  1. Mix first 8 ingredients in bowl. Add sea bass, mix together and set aside, refrigerated, until ready to use.
  2. In hot pan, add oil and let heat up. Add sea bass, and let sit until it starts lifting off pan. Turn over, sear and let cook until done, about 6 minutes.
  3. Remove when done. Serve with Vegetarian Refried Bean & Farro Cakes, Fennel-Orange Slaw, Romesco Sauce, Cilantro Sorrel Pesto and Papadum Crisp. (Recipes follow.)
  4. After plating, garnish fish with 1/4 teaspoon of gremolata.

Vegetarian Refried Bean & Farro Cakes

  1. Heat oil in pan. Add bay leaves. Cook until aromatic.
  2. Add onions and sweat. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add farro and sauté until toasted.
  3. Add water and stock base. Simmer until farro is al dente, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add milk, bring to simmer. Add dried beans and stir until they reconstitute, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and hold at above 140°F until they firm up. After about 10 minutes, mix in parsley, chives, cayenne and lemon.
  5. Form 12, 2.5-ounce patties. Hold hot until ready to sear.
  6. Just before service, heat oil in pan, add patties and sear one side. Turn over and sear second side.
  7. Remove when crispy and add to plate.

Fennel-Orange Slaw

  1. Mix all ingredients in bowl and serve on center of plate.

Romesco Sauce

  1. Mix all ingredients in blender and purée. 

Cilantro Sorrel Pesto

  1. Mix all ingredients in blender and purée.

Papadum Crisp

  1. Toast papadum crisp in oven or on open flame.
Source: St. Clare’s Health System, Denville, N.J.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content

From Mondelez.

With consumers living increasingly busy, on-the-go lifestyles, operators who offer grab-and-go items are in the best position to benefit from the snacking public's eating habits. But since most people turn to different snacks throughout the day, operators need to provide diverse options to capture consumers' changing appetites. The ongoing popularity of grab-and-go items reveals trends that could help operators tailor their inventories to increase sales, especially in the workplace.

What do snackers want?

According to The Hartman Group's 2017 Out of Home...

Industry News & Opinion

Dining halls at the University of California at Los Angeles have begun serving more sustainable seafood dishes, reports the Daily Bruin, the university's student newspaper.

Officials say the change aims to provide healthier choices for students and to help the school reach its goal of sustainably sourcing at least 20% of its food by 2020. The additional seafood has been served in place of red meat, a shift that many students said they didn’t notice.

The fish is sourced from two local fisheries and follows the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch’s guidelines for sustainable...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has appointed Satya Menard as global CEO of its schools and universities segments.

Menard has been with Sodexo for 20 years, holding senior roles within the company such as CEO of benefits and rewards services for Central Europe and CEO of Central and South America for on-site services.

Most recently, Menard was CEO of service operations, a capacity in which he coordinated internal support to operations including service experts in facilities management, food, supply chain and information services and technology.

Menard will transition to the role beginning...

Sponsored Content
little caesars

From PODS ®.

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars® is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the United States. Founded in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant, Little Caesars has become the third largest pizza chain in the world with stores in 23 countries and territories worldwide, including in each of the 50 U.S. states. Each day it serves more than three million pizzas to its customers.

All the equipment used by Little Caesars is supplied by Blue Line Distribution, a wholly owned subsidiary of the restaurant franchise. This includes foodservice...

FSD Resources