Contessa Honey Lime and Sesame Dressing


Wild Crucian Honey is a thing of elemental beauty. Depending on when you are able to source it, you can pick out the notes of all the wild fruits and flowers the bees feasted on to make their sacred food. One of my favorite people on the island is my friend Sam Grey. On a recent trip to my house for brunch with his beautiful family, he gave me a tiny jar of honey he had gathered from his own hive. I must confess, I was downright stingy with my bottle of wild honey. Even my husband got only the tiniest traces of it. It is that good!  Then another one of my favorite people Wanda Wright shared with me a bottle of her locally made Honey Vinegar. I had never had honey vinegar, and wasn’t sure what I would do with it, but I knew when I bought it a recipe would come. This recipe is the synthesis of all that food sharing. Sesame, Lime, and Local Honey all bring their complex flavor components to this incredibly simple brew of a dressing!


It all begins with Honey–one of my favorite sweeteners. It is a reflection of all of nature–a golden liquid sweetness filled with trace nutrients. The blessing of living on a sun-filled rock in the middle of the ocean is that somehow in everything produced you can find traces of that sunshine. That is always what honey reminds me of sweetened sunshine. Check out the picture below of the larger bottle my friend Sam shared with me. Fabulous tasting, wild, raw honey. In the background, you can taste tons of local flavors including possibly lime blossoms.  I haven’t bought store made salad dressings in a long time. It just tastes better to make your own from scratch.

The dark sesame oil I used in this created a nice contrast to the brightness of this honey. A perfect, harmonious balance of darkness and lightness–culinary yin and yang. If you can’t find a good raw honey, then buy  a solid light tasting and colored honey to work into this recipe. But whatever you do, stay away from the stuff in the bear bottle. Just no comparison!



1-2 Tablespoons Good Honey

1 Tablespoon Minced Red Onion

1 Clove Finely Chopped Garlic

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 Tablespoon Honey Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

1 Inch Knob of Grated Fresh Ginger

1 Lime (Juiced and Zested)

5 Tablespoons of Canola Oil (or any other heart friendly, neutral tasting oil)

1 Tablespoon Dark Sesame Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste



Zest and juice the lime and place in a large mason jar or bowl.

Add the minced Garlic, and Red Onion, and Ginger.

Add the Dijon Mustard (I would not use regular yellow mustard. It is too harsh),  Honey,  Honey Vinegar (if you can’t find honey vinegar, experiment with other vinegars, or just use the same amount of the Red Wine Vinegar), and Red Wine Vinegar.

Finally add the Canola, the Dark Sesame Oil, and Salt and Pepper to Taste. Cap the mason jar and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are combined, or use a whisk or fork if you are doing this in a bowl.

Refrigerate a couple hours or until completely cool. This gives all the flavors in the dressing a chance to come together.

Try it on your favorite greens, I love it with baby arugula, blue cheese, sliced almonds, and mandarin oranges.

Be creative and enjoy!



3 thoughts on “Contessa Honey Lime and Sesame Dressing

  1. I love trying honey’s from all over. It is like you said you can pick up the different flavours of the kinds of flowers the bees feasted on. Great dressing too.

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