BY XAVIER DENAMUR, RESTAURANT OWNER

Honey vinaigrette

Perfect to enhance a salad and accompany cheese, honey vinaigrette is sweet and subtle.  I mix two tablespoons of cider vinegar with two tablespoons of acacia honey, I add a spoonful of wholegrain mustard and five spoonfuls of olive oil.  Some salt.  Some pepper.  And there you have it!  I love the surprising combination of these two opposing ingredients: hot mustard and sweet honey.  You could use lemon instead of vinegar!

Smooth marinades!

Honey goes particularly well with white meat, pork chops, lamb cutlets or chicken legs, either barbecued or fried.  To make the marinade I recommend strongly flavoured thyme or rosemary honeys.  In a bowl, I mix olive oil, honey, rosemary, thyme, garlic and pepper.  I brush the meat with this mixture and leave it to rest in the refrigerator before cooking.  Simple and delicious!  For an Asian inspired alternative: add a tablespoon of soy sauce.

The heavenly combination of honey and cheese!

Honey’s best friend is goats’ cheese!  Put them together on a slice of toasted farmhouse bread and you have an easy, economical and tasty starter!  Try something different and choose heather honey or aromatic honeys such as those with thyme or eucalyptus.  Generally speaking, honey and cheese make a great combination!  Blue cheeses go well with subtle honeys such as lavender honey, their strong flavour softened.  Milder cheeses such as Gruyère and Parmesan are enhanced by strong honeys such as chestnut or mountain honey.  Creamy or fresh cheeses go perfectly with acacia, orange blossom, lemon blossom or flower honeys.  These honeys can also be paired with fresh fruits – apples, pears or red fruits.  Anything goes!

A delicious syrup for desserts!

I melt a knob of butter in a saucepan and add four dessertspoons of orange blossom honey and cook it until the mixture turns a caramel colour.  I add the juice of one orange and whisk it up to make a smooth sauce.  It can be drizzled over crepes or French toast or cooked strawberries!  Generally, honey can replace sugar and so brings variety to your favourite dishes: drizzle it on baked apples, fried pineapple or little cakes… A healthy ingredient, easy to use, with a great variety of flavours!