Quentin’s crusted linefish is a deliciously light and crispy fish dish. The crust helps to protect the flesh of the fish during the cooking process, almost like a blanket. The flesh maintains good moisture retention and the contrast between the crunchy crust and the soft, translucent flakes of fish spiked with the lemon and the fragrance of the fresh thyme is simply sublime.
Recipe by Quentin Spickernell
Quentin’s crusted linefish
- small bushel fresh lemon thyme/ normal thyme, stripped from stem
- 5ml (1 tsp) cracked fennel seeds (optional)
- sprig fresh parsley
- zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- 100g hazelnuts + extra, to garnish
- 4 slices fresh bread, blended to crumb
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 x 250g – 280g sustainable white linefish, skinned and deboned
- handful Rosa tomatoes, halved
- olive oil, to sear
- 2 handfuls baby English spinach
- 30g butter
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Coarsely chop the thyme, fennel seeds (if desired), parsley, lemon zest and hazelnuts, and run these ingredients through the breadcrumbs by hand. Season to taste.
Pat the fish fillets dry then loosely pack the crumble onto the fish. Do not pat it down. Roast the fish in the oven, 12 – 15 minutes depending on their thickness. Remove from oven.
In a pan over high heat, sear the Rosa tomatoes in a little olive oil. Add the spinach and allow it to wilt down. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the fish from the roasting pan, drop in the butter and allow to melt, 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and swirl, scraping the pan residue into the sauce.
To serve, add some spinach and tomato mix to each plate. Top with the fish and sprinkle the lemon butter around it. (Do not pour the juices over the fish as the crumble will become soggy.) Garnish with hazelnuts.