This Greek-style citrus salad with a honey dressing is an ode to our local honey man, who sadly passed away earlier this year. There are, of course, many fabulous Greek honey producers. However, he has been a constant in all our lives, always in the same spot, winter or summer, rain or shine.
Many a pilgrimage has been made on a market day to gather precious jars of honey for friends and family to take home: our cure-all and a crucial ingredient in the store cupboard. And I’m sure, perhaps like you, we often opt for honey to sweeten hot drinks as a replacement for sugar in baking and, of course, to drizzle.
Citrusy Salad with Grilled or Fresh Feta
I used grapefruits, blood oranges, oranges, and a handful of kumquats for this citrusy version of the Greek classic. Add seasonal salad leaves such as radicchio, rocket leaves together with cucumber and spring onions for crunch. Top with a generous slice of grilled or fresh feta and maybe a few salty black olives or capers. 😁
I recommend using the best quality honey available. This recipe is made with thyme honey, but you can use whatever your local to you. The honey dressing is adapted from John Gregory-Smith’s Sultana Dressing from his lovely book Orange Blossom and Honey, where I have replaced caster sugar with honey. To create it, gently warm the honey with the vinegar. Don’t let it bubble – only melt – with a pinch of saffron and a spoonful of golden raisins. Keep heating until the raisins are swollen and the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and add a dash of orange blossom water (or freshly squeezed orange juice) and a pinch of salt to balance the flavours. Leave to steep for a few minutes while you prepare the salad.
Serve the citrusy salad precisely as you would a Greek salad. Break up feta at the table so it crumbles into the fruit. Enjoy it on its own or alongside some grilled pork or chicken. It also makes a great healthy brunch – swap the feta for yoghurt😉.
Adapt and enjoy with ingredients close to hand and seasonal. I’ve used citrus fruit. The salad would be equally delicious with fennel and apple or a combination of pear and beetroot.
For more salad ideas, click here.
Grilled Feta and Citrus Salad with Honey Dressing
- 2 med oranges/blood oranges
- handful kumquats (about 5-6)
- 1 small grapefruit
- ½ med cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced – preferably with a mandolin
- 2-3 spring onions (very finely sliced diagonally)
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley and fresh mint
- 150-200 g slice feta cheese
- 1 handful radicchio leaves
- 1 handful rocket leaves
- olive oil and juice of a small lemon
- 4 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar *(see notes)
- 4-5 tsp honey
- 1 scant tsp orange blossom water or freshly squeezed orange juice
- pinch saffron threads
- 60-70 g golden sultanas/raisins
- pinch salt
- Warm the honey, vinegar, saffron and sultanas until they are swollen. Don't let the sauce boil – merely melt and thicken. Add the orange blossom water (or orange juice) and a pinch of salt—taste to check if it needs balancing with a little more salt or vinegar. Set aside while you prepare the salad.
- Quarter the kumquats and remove the pips. Peel the remaining citrus fruit – removing as much of the white pith and pips as possible and conserving the juice. Cut each segment into bite-sized pieces. Peel the fruit over the bowl you intend to use so you catch any juices!
- Toss all the salad ingredients into the bowl with a little olive oil and juice of a small lemon.
- Drizzle the feta slice with a little honey dressing (minus sultanas) and grill* (see notes) on a piece of kitchen foil until golden. Place it on top of your salad and add the remaining honey dressing. Serve immediately – breaking up the feta at the table and tossing it into the salad.
- Serve as brunch with pitta/crusty bread or a side salad with grilled chicken/pork.