A healthy, simple, and incredibly delicious mid-week dinner that will take only 30 minutes from start to finish! Our Zesty Herb-Crusted Haddock is bursting with lemon freshness and unique flavour of tarragon. Served with garlic spinach, juicy cherry tomatoes, and buttery rice, it feels like an extremely special meal that you can treat yourself even when short on time or counting calories!
This recipe is extremely versatile! It is quick and easy to make for any weekday dinner, but also impressive enough to wow your dinner guests. For us, fish dishes always feel like a special treat, but the wow factor in this recipe is definitely TARRAGON! The flavour of tarragon is a unique one. I’ll admit, neither Seb nor I am very keen on aniseed or liquorice, that tarragon taste is normally described as. Sweet, slightly bitter, minty fresh, with a hint of vanilla, tarragon flavour is indescribable! However, tarragon works extremely well with white fish, especially when paired with zingy lemon and other fresh herbs like parsley.
You can use any other white fish in this recipe (cod and sole work well), but make sure you adjust your cooking time based on how thick the fillets are. What is more, you can use defrosted fish (we did!), just make sure to pat it dry to avoid too much moisture seeping into breadcrumb topping.
Whilst your oven is pre-heating to 200º C, lay your fish fillets onto a large baking tray. If you’re not lining it with baking parchment, grease it lightly first. Scatter cherry tomatoes around the fish. If you are going for that special presentation on your plate, you can use cherry vine tomatoes.
Mix mayonnaise and crushed (or grated) garlic in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, prepare your breadcrumb mix. First, finely chop the leaves of your herbs. We paired tarragon and parsley on this occasion, but tarragon goes very well with chervil, coriander or chive as well. Zest and juice your lemon. Mix it all into your breadcrumbs and season.
Now, spread a layer of garlic mayonnaise on your fish fillets and top with herby breadcrumbs. I like to press the breadcrumbs down for them to stick to the fish. That way, it’s easier to lift the fish onto a plate after baking without breadcrumbs going everywhere. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until your fish is cooked and breadcrumbs are light golden brown.
In the meantime, boil your rice. We feel that simple white rice with a bit of butter is great to go with this Herb-Crusted Haddock, as there’s already a lot of of flavour in the crust. However, flavouring your rice with a pinch of turmeric or cooking your rice is stock may add another layer of flavour.
When your fish and rice are almost cooked, prepare your spinach. In a large frying pan, melt the butter. Add spinach and thinly sliced garlic (a few chilli flakes won’t hurt either) and stir with a wooden spoon until spinach starts wilting. It only takes a minute or two. Overcooked spinach becomes soggy and can taste slightly bitter. Season with a pinch of salt.
I love serving rice the way they do in Chinese Restaurants. Spoon the rice into a bowl and press down gently. Then invert onto a plate. You can even pop a cube of butter in the middle for some extra decadence.
Take care lifting your Herb-Crusted Haddock onto a plate. I use a dough scraper or a large spatula to ensure my fish remains intact and breadcrumbs stay on top. Finally, serve with spinach and roasted tomatoes on the side.
Hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you’re looking for another quick and easy weekday dinner, try our:
- 4 haddock fillets unsmoked
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 large garlic clove
- 80 g white breadcrumbs
- 15 g tarragon
- 15 g parsley
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 300 g cherry tomatoes
- 240 g white rice
- 400 g spinach
- 20g salted butter
- 1 small garlic clove
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a large tray with baking parchment.
- Mix mayonnaise and crushed garlic in a small bowl.
- Chop the leaves of parsley and tarragon. In a separate bowl, mix together white breadcrumbs, tarragon, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
- Place haddock fillets on the baking tray and scatter cherry tomatoes around them.
- Spread a layer of garlic mayonnaise on each of the haddock fillets. Then spoon the herby breadcrumb mixture on top and press down so that the breadcrumbs stick to the fish.
- Drizzle everything with a little olive oil and pop the tray in the oven to bake for approx. 15 minutes.
- Whilst the fish cooks, cook your rice following pack instructions. When cooked, stir in half of the butter.
- When your fish and rice are about 3 minutes away from being cooked, melt the rest of the butter in a large frying pan. Add spinach and thinly sliced garlic and stir until all the spinach has just started to wilt – it should only take a couple of minutes.
- To plate, use a large spatula (or a dough scraper) to lift the fish out of the baking tray. Serve with spinach, roasted cherry tomatoes and buttery rice on the side.