Winter doesn't need to be the sole domain of stews and soups. If you feel like keeping things light during the cold weather, this salad should do it. It combines the best of winter's harvest – witlof, mandarin, fennel – with baked feta and a zingy, spiced dressing for oomph. Use blood oranges, tangelos or pink grapefruit in place of mandarins if you prefer; in warmer weather, skip roasting the feta and simply crumble it instead.
- 4 blocks firm feta (200gm each)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 125 ml (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 mandarins
- 60 ml (¼ cup) apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
- 3 white witlof, leaves separated
- 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced, fronds reserved
- Handful micro sorrel
- 50 gm roasted hazelnuts, chopped
- Mixed baby herbs, to serve
- 1Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Pat feta dry with paper towel and place on tray. Combine half the honey and 1 tbsp oil in a small bowl and spread evenly over feta, then season to taste. Bake until feta is soft and golden (20 minutes).
- 2Meanwhile, juice one mandarin then peel and thickly slice remaining. Whisk mandarin juice, remaining honey and oil, vinegar, coriander seeds, and 1 tbsp chopped reserved fennel fronds in a jug until combined; season to taste.
- 3Combine witlof, fennel and sorrel in a large bowl, season and drizzle with half the dressing.
- 4Arrange salad and pieces of warm feta on serving plates, drizzled with remaining dressing. Scatter with hazelnuts and baby herbs to serve.
To toast coriander seeds, stir in a frying pan over low heat for a few minutes until fragrant.