Say hello to your new favorite Mandarin Orange Salad With Crispy Feta & Herby Honey. This dish strikes an incredible balance of sweet and savory for the ultimate flavor explosion. Whether you’re looking for a side for dinner or a fun dish to impress your friends at brunch, this Mandarin Orange Salad with Pan-Fried Feta and Herby Honey is absolute perfection.
Add this to your salad recipe index.
If you’ve never eaten fried feta before, trust me when I say you’re missing out. Feta is a delicious cheese all on its own, but when breaded and then pan-fried, it’s truly out of this world. Fried feta works flawlessly in this salad because of all the fresh herbs and sweet flavors that balance it out. The herby honey we use to top our fried feta with is a simple yet elegant combination of fresh garden herbs and honey. It’s the game-changer you never knew you needed and it only takes a few minutes to throw together.
One of our favorite salads.
We love gardening so we grow a lot of our own herbs and vegetables, like the ones used in this salad. The lettuce we use is a special order variety called Salinova, which is a market garden lettuce often sold to restaurants. If you can’t get your hands on that, store-bought or farmer’s market lettuce works great too. I’d recommend combining a soft butter leaf lettuce with sturdy romaine for a really nice combination.
Add some crisp crunch - sprouts!
This mandarin orange salad recipe also incorporates my favorite microgreens. I call them “Sunnies” for short but they are a black oil sunflower seed (see why I shorten it?) that only takes 14 days to grow from seed to sprout. They make the perfect addition to any salad, adding a mild crunch, a rustic texture, and a sweet, tender flavor.
About the mandarin orange salad dressing and toppings
The easy salad dressing incorporates citrusy mandarin orange juice, olive oil (or neutral oil), apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper, and chopped parsley. You'll get double duty out of the can of mandarin oranges using both the fruit and the juice. Toppings are up to you but the combination of sharp red onion, dried cranberries, salty mixed nuts (or almonds), decadent fried feta with herb honey, and creamy avocado makes for the most beautiful harmony of flavors. You could definitely add some grilled chicken for an extra punch of protein. It’s truly one of my favorite salad recipes and once you try it, I’m confident that it will be one of yours too!
Maybe you're in the mood for an easy and fast Caesar Salad? You might like this Caesar Salad Dressing and quick recipe video.
Mandarin Orange Salad With Pan-Fried Feta & Herby Honey RECIPE VIDEO
Mandarin Orange Salad with Pan-Fried Feta and Herby Honey
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup neutral oil or light olive oil
- 3 tbsp juice from the mandarin oranges
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 dash cayenne red pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
For the feta cheese
- 1 block feta cheeses sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch wedges
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 beaten egg + 1/4 cup water egg wash
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
For the herby honey
- 2 tbsp chopped herbs of choice any combination of: parsley, basil, oregano, summer savory, thyme, rosemary, chives.
- 1/2 cup honey
Salad greens and toppings
- 4 cups leaf lettuce of your choice
- 1 can mandarin oranges, reserving 3 Tbsp of juice 11oz can
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 sliced avocado
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts
For the dressing
- Combine dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake vigorously. Refrigerate.
For the crispy feta & herby honey
- Blot the block of feta dry with a paper towel and slice into 1/4" to 1/2" wedges. Dredge in flour, then the egg wash, then the bread crumbs. Pan fry in 1/2 - 1 inch of hot oil. Allow to drain on paper towels or a clean repurposed brown paper bag.
- Chop herbs and mix with honey. Set aside until needed. There will be extra honey to save and drizzle on muffins, cornbread, biscuits, ricotta cheese & toast.
For the salad assembly.
- Prepare greens (and sprouts if you have them) in a large bowl. (If I want to present this on the table or buffet I'll divide the ingredients and place them in groups or sections. If I'm making this family-style I'll just toss everything together.)Add the oranges, feta, onion, cranberries, avocado, mixed nuts. Drizzle the feta with herby honey then spoon on some Mandarin Orange Citrus Dressing and toss. Enjoy!