Rosemary crusted seared venison short loin, harvest fruit, walnut, and goat cheese salad

By Greenlea Butcher

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It’s finally spring, which means it’s time to dust off those salad bowls and giant forks. This dish captures the season’s freshness while encompassing a cosy, full-bodied flavour.

If you’ve ever made salad before you’ll know how quick and easy it is, and this one is no exception. This salad makes for an elegant yet easy main dish. The short loin yields a rich, delicious flavour, while the figs provide a touch of sweetness. The hardest part of this meal is waiting for the venison to rest while your stomach rumbles.


1 First Light venison short loin (approx. 400 g)
10 sprigs fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
1 cup walnuts (lightly toasted)
6 ripe fresh figs, peaches, or nectarines (sliced)
100 g soft goat cheese
1 bag of mixed lettuce leaves

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper


  1. Allow the venison to come to room temperature. Lightly oil the venison and roll in the chopped rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Pre-heat a barbecue with a lid to high (250ºC).
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the honey and balsamic vinegar, and cook gently until thickened slightly. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.
  3. Cook the venison on high (200-250ºC) with the lid down for 5 minutes on one side then turn and cook for a further 4 minutes for medium rare (internal temperature 60ºC) or to your liking.  Remove from the heat and set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  4. While the meat is resting, assemble the salad by placing the lettuce around a serving platter, top with the fresh chopped fruit, walnuts, and goat cheese.
  5. Once the venison has rested, thinly slice, and add to the salad.  Serve immediately with a drizzle of the honey balsamic reduction.


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