Herb Crusted Haddock, Fennel Puree and Crispy Capers Recipe

Fish, fennel and capers are one of my all-time favourite combinations and we use these 3 ingredients in lots of different ways. I am a fennel puree virgin and really enjoyed the creaminess. The recipe we roughly followed didn’t add the fennel seeds but after tasting I thought it needed a more aniseedy flavour and the crushed seeds worked perfectly. We had some leftover breadcrumbs from our lamb dinner but I have included how to make them below. This dish has everything I like, saltiness, creaminess, texture and a lovely flavour. We are so lucky as we have an amazing fishmonger called veasey and sons.

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the fennel puree

  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seed, toasted and grinded
  • pinch of salt
  • knob of butter (10-15g)

For the crispy capers

  • 3 tbsp capers
  • olive oil for frying (pour oil in small saucepan so it is 1cm deep)

For the fish

  • 2 haddock fillets
  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of your favourite fresh herbs
  • seasoning
  • 2 knobs of butter


  1. First make the puree. Add the chopped fennel in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. While the fennel is cooking toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan until fragrant and grind in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar, set aside.
  2. Once the fennel is cooked add to a food processor with a slotted spoon (reserving the cooking liquid), add the olive oil and salt and blitz until smooth. If the puree is too thick add some of the reserved cooking liquid (or milk) until required consistency is reached.
  3. Transfer to a saucepan add in the ground fennel, taste and add more seasoning if required.
  4. Next make the capers by heating the oil in a small frying pan, add the capers and fry for around 15 seconds, drain on kitchen roll and set aside.
  5. For the fish, rub olive oil into the flesh side of the fish, make the breadcrumbs by blitzing the bread, herbs and 1tbsp of olive oil in a food processor. Push the breadcrumbs onto the oiled flesh side packing them tightly. Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium sized pan over a medium heat, once hot place the fish skin side down and cook for 5- 6 minutes. Turn the grill onto high.
  6. Once cooked place a knob of butter on top of each crumbed fillet and grill for 2-3 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden and fish is cooked through. Serve on warm plates.


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