Food You Can Eat: Baked Haddock in a Lemon Herb Sauce

Better Half is going "deaf as a haddock" so this is a sly inside joke I often play on him

Image via Cooking Mom sprinkles dill on hers but with my version that's superfluous.

This is vaguely French and is the American cousin to Sole Meunière. Fast and easy, this makes frequent appearances on our pescatarian-night dinner table. This would serve four depending on what you paired it with, but for we gluttons it serves two. If you have a Ravenous Hound do not give him this: much as ours loves fish the lemons’ acidity will wreak havoc on their digestive systems. You do not want to clean up after a Ravenous Hound who has gotten their paws on halibut with lemon. And that might be the least of your problems.

4 lemons

3 tbsp. butter, melted in the microwave

1/4–1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon or maybe a little more of Herbes de Provence. I could eat this straight from the jar at this point and always have some on hand. This is a little bit of a pain in the neck to make yourself, but make a blend of oregano, rosemary, thyme, dill, stuff like that which you might have in the spice rack or growing in the Handy Rooftop Herb Planter. 

4 haddock fillets, each about 6 oz. This is how they come in my supermarket. They are not long and thin but kind of squat and rectangular, which, as you will see, is helpful.

Some diced parsley for sprinkling, if you have any. 


Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in the microwave and pour into a bowl in which you have squeezed the juice from 4 lemons. Hang onto the rinds.

In a separate bowl mix the flour with the Herbes de Provence. 

You can guess what’s coming.

Dredge the haddock fillets first in the lemon butter and then in the seasoned flour. Make sure the fillets are good and coated and shake off any excess clingy flour.

Spray a 13X9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and arrange the fillets so they don’t touch. They should have plenty of room. Spoon over the remainder of the lemon butter from your dredging bowl. Try to do this evenly and try to restrict this to the tops of the fillets; for this you don’t want a little bath for them to bake in. Put in the oven for about 15 minutes max., so that the fillets start to flake but don’t turn to mush. When they’re done, with a grater or a zester create lemon zest and sprinkle over the top of the fillets. Sprinkle over the parsley if you must.

You are done.

I serve this with rice and a steamed vegetable, depending on what terrible secrets my fridge’s vegetable drawer reveals. Ideally I go with asparagus, I am forever steaming asparagus it seems, but my Dining Companion enjoys a good buttered brussels sprout so sometimes I use those. Baby carrots are also good and good for you! 



  1. This looks lovely, but college dorm food ruined fish with lemon for me.

    Mainly because rather than care when Lent was, the school just served lemon fish every goddamned Friday in the dorms. And like clockwork, every Saturday the pizza option was topped with lemon fish.

    • I went to public schools in an overwhelmingly Catholic suburb and even though this was post-Vatican II (and I was not Catholic) they wouldn’t serve meat on Fridays, ever. If you brought your lunch a ham and cheese sandwich would attract unwanted attention, so it was tuna or egg salad sandwiches, or peanut butter and jelly, in the lunchbox.

      The cafeteria offered Army surplus fish sticks or English muffin pizzas topped with ketchup and a small slice of American cheese and broiled, but by the time you got to them they were cold.

      By the time I graduated from high school I was like a whippet. Then my college cafeteria was somehow even worse, so rather than the “freshman 10” I lost even more weight. That is why friends and I learned to cook for ourselves, we learned from each other, and they learned from their mothers, so we didn’t starve. And here I am, lo these decades later.

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