Years ago a friend looked on in amazement as I cooked fish for my kids for dinner. She was firmly of the opinion that children under the age of about – well, probably 18 – only eat fish in the ‘fingers’ or ‘with chips’ varieties. But over the years I’ve found lots of ways of cooking fish and other aquatic creatures which the kids have loved. What follows is a very simple meal which I’ve rustled up on numerous occasions, is still always greeted with glee, and is invariably followed by the request ‘to have this more often’.

Ingredients (serves 5)

  • 5 frozen salmon fillets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dill (fresh or dried)
  • 750g potatoes
  • 25g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp pesto sauce
  • vegetables or green salad; I find that sweetcorn goes particularly well


Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tin with a large piece of foil and brush it with half the olive oil. Place the salmon fillets in a single layer on the foil, brush them with the rest of the oil, scatter with dill, sprinkle the lemon juice on top, and fold the foil over to make a loose parcel. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the vegetables, and chop and boil the potatoes. Once soft, drain and mash the potatoes with the butter, salt, milk and pesto.

Carefully remove the salmon from the oven, and arrange everything on individual plates.