Wild Barramundi with Black Olive Salsa by Sophie Dahl
Wild Barramundi with Black Olive Salsa by Sophie Dahl

There are days when I really want to indulge. These are times when only chocolate and red frogs will do. Then there are days when I want something light and good for me. One Sunday afternoon I was feeling like eating for my health and so I flipped through some of my more healthier cookbooks.

Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights has an exciting range of meals based around the seasons and breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whenever I want to make something quick and healthy I often reach for this book. I will often find something or feel inspired by it.

She doesn’t eat red meat or chicken, however there a couple of lamb and chicken recipes (strange…). Vegetables and grains are predominate throughout the book. I also find that I am adding ingredients to her list. Whether it be a squidge of butter, an extra clove of garlic or some dried herbs. Most of the additions are to my personal taste, but I’m sure the recipes are fine on their own.

I recently learned that she now has her own cooking show with BBC. I watched a couple of videos on youtube and cannot help but draw comparisons between herself and Nigella Lawson.
* They are both well-spoken, elegant, upper-class english ladies
* They have chatty and charming dispositions
* They are surrounded by pretty things. All of which I want for myself.
* The film styles, closeups and presentation are very similar
* They both have smiles that could light up a night sky

The obvious difference between the two is that Sophie leans more towards wholesome, organic foods. Where as Nigella is more indulgent and adopts the attitude of “full of fat or nothing at all”.

I appreciate both women dearly and I am quite happy to have them both sharing space on my cramped bookshelf.


Recipe adapted from Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl

2 x 300g Wild Barramundi Fillets
Olive Oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
Salt and Pepper

For the butter garlic sauce
1/2 cup salted butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed

For the black olive salsa
1 cup of pitted black olives
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
A handful of chopped fresh basil and dill
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 a red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 lemon, sliced, rind and pith removed, to garnish

1/ Marinate the fillets in a mixture of olive oil, lemon, white wine and salt and pepper for about 20 minutes.

2/ In a mixing bowl, mix the olives, tomatoes, chopped basil, dill, lemon juice, red chilli and olive oil. Put to one side.

3/ Melt butter is a small saucepan on medium heat. Once the butter starts to froth, turn off the heat and add the garlic. Stir and set to one side.

4/ Pan-fry the barramundi fillets in some hot olive oil (skin-side first), cooking it for 2 minutes on each side. Add the bass to the plates, top with the butter garlic sauce and the black olive salsa. Sprinkle with extra dill and lemon slices.

Tips from the cookbookmaniac
* The original recipe uses sea bass fillets, however these wild barramundi fillets were looking very plump at the fish market. So I subbed it. It was delicious.
* These fillets spat like mad at me once they hit the frying pan. Either stand back or use a splatter screen.
* Although the recipe states to cook the fillets for 2 minutes on each side, I found myself frying it for about 5 minutes to cook it through.
* This was so easy and delicious. Quick and easy lunch.
* To cut back on expenses, you can do away with the dill, chilli and white wine.


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  1. sweetlife

    what a great I just looked her show up here and they don’t have it listed..oh well thanks for the clip..she is very nigellaish…

  2. Juliana

    Wow, this fish dish sure looks delicious….love the butter garlic sauce 🙂

  3. TruffleMe

    Hey Amy, thanks for the heads up on Miss Dahl’s show. Yes, very Nigella like. Also keen to try out this dish. Looks yummy!

  4. Richard Elliot

    The fish looks great!

    I haven’t read any of Sophie Dahl’s cookbooks (read most of her dad’s books!), I’ll have to check out her show.

  5. Angie

    Quick simple and healthy, for the in between days =)

  6. Anh

    Such a lovely dish! I have never seen Sophie Dahl. You get me interested.

  7. foodwink

    Good to see Miss Dahl making a successful transformation from a model to a celebrity cook. Healthy dishes are always a plus!

  8. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I saw her book at the store the other day and thought that it looked interesting. Must pick it up next time! 🙂

  9. tigerfish

    Not a black olive fan but the salsa made from it, I am not sure. :0

  10. Mark @ Cafe Campana

    The black olive salsa is very creative. I love the crunchy skin of pan fried fish and yours looks great.

  11. OohLookBel

    I think yours is the first recipe I’ve seen from Sophie Dahl’s book. She looks lovely, doesn’t she (though a bit slimmer than Nigella!). Subbing barra for sea bass sounds like a great idea. Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

  12. linda

    wow I didn’t know Sophie Dahl had a cook book. I love barramundi, mum used to grill it and we’d have it with a tamarind sauce, but i’m liking the look of the salsa.

  13. Angie’s Recipes

    What a great good-looking fish dish!Olive salsa sounds really cool.

  14. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    I didn’t realise she’d ventured into cooking, will have to have a flick through her book next time I’m spending far too much time ogling cookbooks.

    Love this recipe, there’s nothing like a big hunk of nicely cooked fish to get my smiling. Great skin on this too!