Chilean Sea Bass with Mango Salsa, Cilantro Pesto, and Black Bean Rice

As promised a couple posts ago, I’m back with a Mexican-inspired dish complete with cilantro pesto. Lately, I’ve had a lot of fun trying out different varieties of pesto. They’re such a simple addition to any dish, yet they contribute so much flavor. You can check out my recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto here and my recipe for Arugula Pesto here.

I have to admit, I have never loved seafood. In fact, I spent the majority of my life disliking most of it… until recently. I can only imagine my mom snickering as she reads this post. There have been quite a few things that I used to loathe as a child and teenager that I now couldn’t live without. Beets, sweet potatoes, avocados, and now, fish, are just a few examples that come to mind. I swear there is some truth to the idea that your taste buds change every seven years.

Anyway, case in point: I have been craving fresh fish more and more recently. I make a decent effort to eat a balanced diet, but poultry and red meat aren’t always appealing to me as sources of protein – especially during the warmer months of the year. Now that I’m loving fish, I have not only lighter and healthier options, but also much more variety to choose from.

Luckily, I have a basic understanding of the flavor profiles and textures of different fish thanks to waitressing at a high-end sushi restaurant for a couple years. Now I get to put that knowledge to use for the benefit of my own tastebuds. Yesterday, I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up two filets of fish for Dan and I. The fishmonger on duty not only suggested Chilean sea bass, but also provided me with some prep tips to go along with it; I am so happy that he did. It was perfectly cooked and tasted so good with the mango salsa and the cilantro pesto.

Note: The recipe provided yields four servings.

PART 1: BLACK BEAN RICE

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 a Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. grape seed oil
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or broth of your choice)
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

What you’ll do:

  • Combine the onion, garlic, and grape seed oil in a medium-sized pot; sauté over medium heat until the onion and garlic are soft and golden brown
  • Add the rice and broth; turn the heat up to its highest setting and bring to a boil for 5 minutes
  • After five minutes have passed, turn the heat to its lowest setting, apply the lid, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes have passed, stir in the black beans and cayenne pepper; reapply the lid and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes
  • Remove from heat, allow to cool, and spoon into a serving dish

PART 2: CHILEAN SEA BASS

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Combine the grape seed oil, black pepper, and salt in a mixing bowl
  • One filet at a time, cover both sides with the grape seed oil mixture; then, place onto a piece foil and wrap by creating a seal at the top
  • Once all the filets are wrapped in foil, place onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 25 minutes

PART 3: MANGO SALSA

What you’ll need:

  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1/2 a red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 a red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Cracked black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste

What you’ll do:

  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together
  • Spoon into a serving bowl

PART 4: CILANTRO PESTO

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • Cracked black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste

What you’ll do:

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth
  • Spoon into a serving bowl or mason jar

Plate each serving as pictured. For the cilantro pesto specifically, place a generous-sized dollop onto the plate and drag across the plate with a teaspoon. Elegant plating made easy!

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4 thoughts on “Chilean Sea Bass with Mango Salsa, Cilantro Pesto, and Black Bean Rice

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