Spring Break Memories


One of my favorite things about working in a school is the magical spring break. Sure winter and summer breaks are longer but spring break comes at the most perfect time teasing you with the ability to venture out. This year I did some skiing at home, visiting with family, and lastly some awesome solo desert exploring in a little range out of Phoenix called the IMG_1745Superstitions. Some great running, camping, hiking and quiet desert time in an amazing place to rejuvenate the soul. I also found some time to poke around the kitchen inspired by the coming spring with a few recipes full of greens and fresh herbs. This is my favorite of the week. Ever since a friend gave me the cookbook Plenty I am IN LOVE with Ottolenghi. His new book Plenty More does not disappoint with deeply satisfying flavorful offerings. Rob and I have been experimenting with Manuka honey lately thanks to Flora; I really didn’t know anything about it  – but it is an amazing (and tasty) product. When I saw that Ottolenghi had combined this honey with so many of my favorite foods I knew I had to try it. You can of course use another honey but the deep rich flavor really adds to the flavor profile.



Adapted from lentils, radicchio, and walnuts with manuka honey

Plenty More, Yotom Ottolenghi


  • 1 cup French lentilsIMG_1687
  • 2 bay leaves
  • about 1/3 cup manuka honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head of radicchio
  • 2-3 oz aged manchego cheese
  • 1 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 1 cup chopped dill
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl – the vinegar, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, half the honey, 1 teaspoon salt and some black pepper
  3. Put lentils ins a saucepan with plenty of water and the 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes until tender. Drain well and add to the dressing while hot – stir to combine and leave to cool down. Discard the bay leavesIMG_1686
  4. While the lentils are cooking prepare the walnuts – put the remaining half the honey along with chili flakes, turmeric, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Stir well to combine adding up to 1 teaspoon of water if necessary to make a thick paste. Stir in walnuts until well coated. Spread on baking sheet IMG_1690lined with parchment or a baking mat. Roast for about 20 minutes until golden. Stir halfway through the cooking process. Let cool, break apart and set aside
  5. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Cut radicchio into long wedges (6-8) and place in the pan. Cook about 1 minute aside turning gently with tongs. Transfer to the bowl with lentils – add the walnuts, manchego, and chopped herbs and adjust the seasoning. Stir gently to combine  – we ate this dish warm with some good pumpernickel bread and a side of black rice ( we were hungry!) – it was equally good at room temperature for lunch the next day





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s