Pan-Seared Cod with Beet Vinaigrette and Pumpkin Quinoa Risotto

Jesse Kraft

Saint Barnabas Medical Center - Livingston, NJ

This dish was a finalist in the Sodexo Recipes for a Better Tomorrow contest, held at the James Beard House in May 2011.


Beet Vinaigrette:

  • 4 ounces beets, peeled
  • 1 1/2 ounces cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • 3 ounces peeled and julienned carrots
  • 3 ounces peeled and julienned daikon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Pumpkin–Quinoa Risotto:

  • 1 quart vegetable stock, plus extra for sautéing
  • 8 ounces diced pumpkin
  • 2 ounces diced onions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 ounces Arborio rice
  • 2 ounces red quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 ounces white quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 ounces dry white wine
  • 2 ounces Hawthorne Valley alpine-style cheese


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Five 4- to 5-ounce cod fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 5 ounces baby shiso leaves
  • 1 ounce micro-amaranth


To make the beet vinaigrette, fill a large sauce pot with water and bring to a simmer. Add the beets and simmer until tender. Remove the water and let cool. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and chop them. Place the beets and vinegar in a blender and purée until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and whisk in the extra virgin olive oil. Whisk in the dill, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the salad, combine the carrots and daikon in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the risotto, bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a large sauce pot. In a large saucepan, sauté the pumpkin, onions, and garlic in a small amount of stock until the onions are translucent. Add the rice and quinoa and cook for about a minute. Lower the heat to medium-low. Stirring constantly, adding the remaining stock in 3 additions, making sure the rice completely absorbs one addition before adding the next. The risotto is finished when the mixture is creamy and the rice is firm to the bite. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Cover to keep warm.

To make the cod, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pat the cod fillets dry and season with salt and pepper. Coat each fillet in the flour and shake off any excess coating. Sauté the fillets until brown on both sides and cooked through.

To serve, arrange some shiso leaves in the center of a plate. Place a cod fillet on top of the leaves. Place a couple tablespoons of salad on top of the fish, then drizzle with some beet vinaigrette. Garnish with micro-amaranth. Spoon some risotto into a side dish and garnish with more micro-amaranth.


5 servings