Earn your stripes in the kitchen with these un-bee-lieveable recipe ideas made with one special ingredient: honey.
Bees are essential pollinators in our food system. No bees could cause the collapse of our entire food system. Many biodynamic and organic wineries keep hives on-site, not to pollinate the grapes (wine grapes are self-pollinating), but to encourage a natural healthy ecosystem by contributing greater biodiversity and balance.
May 20th marks World Bee Day, started by Slovenia, to help raise awareness for bees. Why May? During this month, the northern hemisphere is moving into summertime with nature and bees thriving; while in the southern hemisphere it’s autumn and time for harvesting hives, it’s the season of honey and honey-based deliciousness.
Let’s dive right into these five hive-worthy recipes:
1. Honey Soy Cauliflower Stir Fry and Riesling
Oven-baked honey soy cauliflower is an umami-rich dish, full of sticky, sweet flavours that’s a force to bee reckoned with. It is the perfect quick mid-week meal that requires minimal cleanup. Mix 2 tablespoons of both honey and soy sauce, ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of sesame oil in a bowl. Add 2 grated cloves of garlic and 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds. Chop up a head of cauliflower and one red onion. Place on a lined baking tray, drizzle the sauce over the cauliflower. Roast at 200ºC for 20 minutes. Easy beezy! Pair with a dry Riesling with mineral notes and apple and lemon citrus flavour that will bring out the dish’s umami characters.
Wine recommendation: Mount Horrocks Organic Riesling 2018
2. Honey-Roasted Almonds and Rosé
Searching for a wholefood snacking option? Look no further than honey-roasted almonds! Simply combine 2 cups of raw almonds with 2-3 tablespoons of warmed running honey in a bowl. Spread almonds in an oven tray lined with baking paper and sprinkle sea salt on top. Roast in a preheated oven at 170° for 15-25mins. Simple! Pair this moreish snack with a glass of crisp Rosé with delicate fruit flavours. Salty and sweet, it’s quite the treat!
Wine recommendation: Paxton Pollinator Organic Rosé 2018
3. Honey-Glazed Roasties and Merlot
Ah the humble potato, so versatile and so delicious. Set the dinner table a-buzz with honey-glazed roasties. A sweet twist on a classic. Toss quartered potatoes in melted butter, honey, salt and pepper, and garlic, Bang on some herbs and chilli for a little heat. It’s the perfect side dish. Pair with a succulent and juicy red wine like Merlot. With ripe red berry fruits on the palate, it will meld wonderfully with the sweet caramel notes of the crispy honey roasties.
Wine recommendation: Farm Hand Organic Merlot 2018
4. Kale Salad With Honey Dressing and Chardonnay
Salads don’t have to be boring summer lunch fixes. Jazz up a standard leaf mix with kale, pecans, red onion, apple and pear. Kale has earned its’ superfood status -- you could say it’s all it’s cracked up to bee - but you’ll get even more enjoyment out of this dish with an excellent honey dressing. Simply combine honey, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper and maybe some lemon zest to cement your status as Queen Bee of culinary skills. Pair this delectable salad with a glass of Chardy, opt for a medium weight style with a little oak so the citrusy notes are emphasised and not washed out.
Wine recommendation: J&J Rivers Lane Organic Chardonnay 2017
5. Honey Poached Pears and Pinot Gris/Grigio
This is one of those show-stopping recipes that don’t require that much effort. Add ½ cup of honey, 4 cups of water, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to a pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Skin two Bartlett pears (or similar) leaving the stems intact and add to the simmering honey-water whole. Simmer until tender, about 20 mins. Service with your favourite yoghurt, (n)ice cream, or ricotta and of course drizzle with the honey-water mixture. The pears will have just the right amount of sweetness. Make it the perfect dessert with a perfect wine pairing. Go for a Pinot Gris/Grigio, a wine with signature pear notes that will complement the honey-sweet pears!
Wine recommendation: Pure Vision Organic Pinot Gris 2019
Bonus: Bees Knees Cocktail
Let's round off this list with a sweet treat, the perfect honey cocktail! This beverage truly is the bee’s knees. It has the exact right amount of sweetness especially when its made with a mindful spirit like Antipodes Gin. Combine 60ml Antipodes Gin with 15ml lemon juice and 15 ml honey in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass of your choosing and garnish with a lemon twist or sprig of thyme. Serve with a cheese plate with blue cheese, honeycomb and grilled peach or fresh figs if you’re feeling extra fancy.
Get the Antipodes gin: Organic CelebratGIN Box