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    Tomato, fennel & mint with goat’s cheese, honey and saffron

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    Tomato, fennel & mint with goat’s cheese, honey and saffron

    By Diana Henry

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes + infusing
    • Cooking time: 1 minutes
    • Total time: 16 minutes + infusing

    Serves: 6


    1 lemon, juice
    1 small bulb fennel
    475g tomatoes (of different colours and sizes, if possible)
    30 mint leaves, larger ones torn, small ones whole
    150g soft, mild goat’s cheese, roughly broken into chunks
    3 tsp clear honey, for drizzling

    For the dressing
    11/2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
    Squeeze lemon juice
    Pinch saffron threads
    1½ tsp clear honey
    4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


    1. To make the dressing, warm the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. As soon as you can feel the warmth in the liquid, add the saffron. Stir to help it dissolve and leave it sitting, off the heat, for 20 minutes or so. Season and add the honey and olive oil. Taste for balance. You might want more honey or lemon, but don’t overwhelm the saffron.

    2. To make the salad, put the lemon juice into a bowl big enough to hold the fennel. Trim the fennel tips and quarter the bulb. Remove the coarse outer layer if discoloured. Cut the core out of each quarter, being careful not to remove so much that the quarters fall apart. Take off and reserve the feathering sprigs. Shave the fennel on a mandolin or use a sharp knife. You need wafer-thin slices. As you slice the fennel, drop it into the bowl with the lemon juice and toss to coat. The lemon juice will help prevent discolouring.

    3. Slice or quarter the tomatoes, depending on their size. Put them into a broad, flat serving bowl (or on a platter) with the mint and fennel (leaving behind the lemon juice). Add the reserved fennel fronds. Season and toss with about ¾ of the dressing. Scatter the goat’s cheese on top. Drizzle a little honey over the chunks of cheese, then pour over the remaining dressing and serve.

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