Barbecued Baby Carrot and Feta Cheese Salad with Honey and Lemon Dressing
Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as a starter or as a side dish at a barbecue
The honey and lemon dressing goes perfectly with the naturally sweet and tender baby carrots in this tasty recipe. I initially colour the carrots on the barbecue to create bar marks on them, then enclose the carrots in a foil parcel with some of the dressing and continue cooking them over the barbecue. I love being creative with vegetables to make interesting starters or side dishes to accompany barbecued meats. The barbecue method of cooking gives food a different and interesting taste.
I used feta cheese for the salad as that is what I had in the fridge, but you could use fresh homemade curd cheese or crumbly goat’s cheese instead, if you prefer.
Ingredients & Method
For the honey and lemon dressing
- 60g clear honey
- 35g Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 25ml white wine vinegar
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 50ml cold water
- 140ml sunflower oil
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the barbecued baby carrot and feta cheese salad
- 500g baby carrots, scrubbed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 slices of sourdough bread
- 200g feta cheese (or use fresh curd cheese or crumbly goat’s cheese)
- a pinch of poppy seeds
- a small handful of fresh tarragon leaves
Preheat the barbecue to a mild/low heat.
To make the dressing, measure the honey, mustard, garlic, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, water and salt and pepper into a jug and blend together using a hand-held stick blender until combined. Slowly add the oil, whilst blending continuously, until all the oil is added and you have an emulsion. Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding more salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer the dressing to a squeezy bottle or a covered jam jar and set aside. Shake the dressing just before use.
Make the salad. For the barbecued carrots, rub the carrots in 1 teaspoon oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place the carrots over a mild/low barbecue and leave them until bar marks appear, turning to colour them all over, about 5–6 minutes. Transfer the carrots to a piece of foil and squirt over about 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Close the foil around the carrots to make a sealed parcel, place the parcel back over the barbecue and cook for a further 6–8 minutes or until the carrots are cooked, tender and glazed with the dressing. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over the bread slices, then toast the bread over the barbecue for 2–3 minutes until golden brown all over, turning regularly. Remove from the heat, cool for 5 minutes, then rip the toasted bread into pieces.
To serve, toss the barbecued carrots and toasted bread pieces together in a large serving bowl, adding extra dressing to taste, then crumble over the cheese, sprinkle over the poppy seeds and scatter with the tarragon leaves, tossing gently to mix. Alternatively, you can divide the salad ingredients between 4 plates, adding extra dressing to taste, then toss lightly before serving.
To cook the carrots and bread using a griddle pan and the oven rather than a barbecue, first preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Heat a ridged griddle pan over a high heat until hot, then add the seasoned carrots and griddle until bar marks appear, turning them regularly, about 2–3 minutes. Transfer the carrots to a piece of foil and squirt over about 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Close the foil around the carrots to make a sealed parcel, then place the parcel in the oven and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the carrots are cooked, tender and glazed with the dressing.
For the toast, drizzle the oil over the bread slices, then toast the bread on the hot griddle pan for about 2–3 minutes, until golden brown all over, turning a couple of times. Remove from the pan, leave to cool for 5 minutes, then rip the toasted bread into pieces. Continue and serve as the recipe directs above.