Food blogger Jane-Anne Hobbs, author of the cookbook ‘Scrumptious: Food for Family and Friends’ (Struik Lifestyle), is passionate about heart-warming, home-cooked dishes that combine the latest culinary trends with a generous pinch of nostalgia



  • 2 large day-old bread rolls, or enough to make 2½ cups bread crumbs
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 4T fresh herbs of your choice, chopped
  • 150ml finely grated Parmesan
  • salt and milled black pepper
  • 3T olive oil
  • 8 fillets firm-fleshed white linefish, skinned
  • lemon wedges, to serve

For the whipped caper butter:

  • 150g softened butter
  • 3T crème fraîche or thick sour cream
  • 4t capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 1T Dijon mustard
  • salt and milled black pepper


1. To make the whipped caper butter: beat the butter and crème fraîche together with an electric whisk for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Mix in the capers and mustard. Season with pepper and more salt, if required.
2. Put the butter mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle and pipe eight big blobs onto a sheet of baking paper (if you don’t have a piping bag, make dollops using a big spoon). Chill until needed.
3. To make the crumbed coating for the fish: tear the rolls into chunks. Place them in a food processor together with the lemon zest and whizz to a fairly fine crumb. Add the herbs and pulse a few times until finely chopped; don’t over-process or you’ll end up with green dust.
4. Tip the crumbs onto a large plate and mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper; go easy on the salt as the Parmesan is quite salty. If you have time, put the plate, uncovered, in the fridge for a few hours so the crumbs can dry out a little.
5. To crumb the fish: sprinkle the olive oil over the crumb mixture and lightly rub it in, using your fingertips. Pat the fish portions dry, remove any bones and arrange on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Rub a film of oil over the top of the fish portions and season with salt and pepper. Divide the crumb mixture into 8 and cover each piece of fish with a generous layer of crumbs, patting down lightly with the back of a spoon. Chill uncovered, in the fridge for up to 6 hours.
6. To cook the fish: heat the oven to 200ºC. Bake the fish for 10–15 minutes or until it is just cooked through and the crust crisp.
7. To assemble the dish: put a blob of chilled whipped caper butter on each portion of fish and serve immediately with the lemon wedges.

Cook’s note: If you’re not keen on capers, add wholegrain mustard, mashed anchovies, lemon zest or chilli flakes to the whipped butter.

This recipe serves 8.