A Recipe: Griddled Peach Salad With Tarragon and Honeysuckle Syrup Dressing / Apricots With Honeysuckle Syrup

Honeysuckle syrup is another way to enjoy this fragrant bloom. Using the flavoured sugar as a starting point (-mentioned in the previous post), it is very versatile. Here are two simple suggestions on how to use it, but I can think of so many others.  

Honeysuckle Syrup

Perfumed and golden, this is easy to make and, kept in a well stoppered bottle in the fridge, should last 10-14 days.

1 cup honeysuckle sugar (see previous post)
1 cup water
Place the sugar and water into a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to the boil and once the sugar has dissolved, lower the heat but allow to bubble and reduce until golden (10-15min). Strain and pour into a sterilised bottle.

Griddled Peach Salad With Tarragon and Honeysuckle Syrup Dressing

If you have very ripe peaches, you could forgo the griddling in this recipe. Peaches that aren't so ripe improve after griddling -becoming soft, caramelised and aromatic. I've used flat peaches but any type of peach works well.

Serves 4

6 Peaches (-flat peaches if you can get them, are a easier to griddle)
2 large Mozzarella Balls
12 slices Parma Ham
250g Salad Leaves
Handful of Tarragon

Stone and halve the peaches, butter and then set aside. Heat a cast iron griddle pan until smoking hot, smear with butter and place the peaches on to the griddle. Sear and turn until soft but not falling apart (10-15min).


Honeysuckle Syrup Dressing

For the honeysuckle to really standout, use a mild flavoured oil such as sunflower or a very mild olive oil. The green, fruity punch of an extra-virgin olive oil will mask any of the honeysuckle notes, so save that for a different dressing.

1 part Wholegrain Mustard
1 part Cider Vinegar
2 parts Honeysuckle Syrup
3 parts Sunflower Oil

Place into your vessel of choice and mix.

Dress the salad leaves and place into the centre of a plate and put the griddled peaches on top. Pull apart the mozzarella and tear each slice of Parma ham in half, roll and, add to the salad leaves. Tear up the tarragon and sprinkle, then drizzle with further dressing and a good grinding of black pepper. If vegetarian, replace the Parma ham with thin slices of cucumber sliced lengthways, with a pinch of sea salt for a little salinity. A lovely lunch on a hot summer's day.

Apricots With Honeysuckle Syrup

Fresh apricots are a glorious fruit. Sweet and ripe, they remind me of lazy summers holidaying as a child in France. Often, the ones sold here can be tart and floury, but I found these vermillion blushed beauties at the Licata Deli on Picton Street. Simply sliced, and drizzled with honeysuckle syrup -what a taste. For apricots that aren't so sweet, poach in honeysuckle syrup thinned with a little water or dry white wine. The syrup will reduce and thicken nicely as the apricots cook gently. Serve warm, with a slick of ice cold, single cream.
Now, let your imagination reign free: add to warm milk; make cordial with a squeeze of citrus; flavour panna cotta; whip up some Italian meringue -the list could go on...

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