Fish with broccolini, olives and tomatoes

So the other week we had some friends over for dinner. Initially I was given the impression it was just the adults coming so I started planning a fancy-pants three course evening of taste sensations.

But then I remembered who we were asking – the same couple who piked on my birthday dinner because they forgot to organise a babysitter until the day of the gathering, despite a month’s notice of said event – and sent a text to confirm if we were feeding two grown-ups or two grown-ups and three kids. It was the whole crew coming.

Don’t get me wrong – one of the reasons we love these people as much as we do is because they are so like us and their kids love our kids and visa versa and indeed, we love their kids as they love ours. Oscar actively looks forward to seeing B as much as B’s kids. It’s an ugly realisation when you finally admit to loving your friends but not their kids.

So the menu didn’t change so much as the timing of it all did – the pasta, the fish and the oysters would all be served at the same time as more of a banquet than series of courses.

I got very frazzled as just as dinner was all coming together Jasper started to lose it and Grover just lost it. So as everyone sat down to eat I was closeted away in a bedroom trying to settle Grover and soaking in my own bain marie of simmering resentment. BUT I try to pull it together as everyone was saying how delicious everything was and everyone else seemed pretty fine with the turn of events.

And as it was, everything was delicious. There are, however, few photos to show as Chef was in charge of pictures due to the issues of children as outlined above. And in doing so, he managed to capture some lovely shots, all with me and my breasts hanging out feeding Grover in the background. Nice. This one I’m feeding but the mammaries and blessedly discreet. (the broccolini mix is in the white bowl in the front of the picture)

Fish with broccolini, olives and tomatoes
Based on recipe by Andy Bunn, Vogue Entertaining, December/January 2008

  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 2 bunches broccolini, ends trimmed
  • 70g Ligurian olives, pitted (they’re the little black olives and 70g is about two good handfuls)
  • 4 fish fillets
  • 90ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Halve the tomatoes and place in a dish
  2. Cook the broccolini is a saucepan of salted boiling water for three minutes, then refresh in a bowl of iced water (or do as I did and just run under cold water), drain well, chop roughly and add to the tomatoes
  3. Add the olives to the bowl
  4. Season the fillets with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  5. Heat some of the oil in a pan and cook the fish over a medium-high heat for about two minutes each side, depending on the thickness of the fillets (the original recipe called for barramundi, we used Blue Eye)
  6. Whisk the oil and lemon juice together and toss through the broccolini mixture
  7. Plate the fish and spoon some of the broccolini mix over the top.