Fresh fish tastes fabulous cooked in a simple herb butter. Here the liquorice flavour of fennel complements the haddock beautifully to make a simple dish ideal for a dinner party. If you can buy only small haddock fillets, fold them in half before baking, or use cod as an alternative. Serve tiny new potatoes and a herb salad with the fish to make a light, summery main course.
675g/ 1 1/2lb haddock fillet, skinned and cut into 4 portions
50g/2oz/1/4 cup butter
45ml/3 tbsp coarsely chopped fennel
1. preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/Gas7. season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Melt one-quarter of the butter in a frying pan, preferably non-stick, and cook the fish over a medium heat briefly on both sides.
2. Transfer the fish to a shallow ovenproof dish. Cut four wafer-thin slices from the lemon and squeeze the juice from the remainder over the fish, place the lemon slices on top and then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked.
3. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in the frying pan and add the fennel and a litter seasoning.
4. Transfer the cooked fish to plates and pour the cooking juices into the herb butter. Heat gently for few seconds, then pour the herb butter over the fish. Serve immediately.