Reposted from an article on The Guardian.
Recipe & words by Yotam Ottolenghi
Photograph by Colin Campbell for the Guardian
I got a thorough introduction to manuka on a recent trip to New Zealand, where it features regularly on menus and in cocktails. Apart from its famous healing properties, manuka has a strong, woody flavour. Still, it is rather expensive, so you can substitute it with another good, strong honey. Radicchio's bitterness balances the rich sweetness of the honey, but if it's not your thing, leave it out. Serves four.
200g puy lentils
2 bay leaves
100g manuka honey
¼ tsp flaked chilli
½ tsp ground turmeric
Salt and black pepper
About 1 tsp water
3 tbsp red-wine vinegar
90ml olive oil
½ medium-size radicchio
60g pecorino fiore sardo, or other mature ewe's or goat's cheese
20g each roughly chopped basil, dill and parsley
Heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Put the lentils in a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of water, add the bay leaves and simmer for 15 minutes, until tender.
While the lentils cook, prepare the walnuts. In a bowl, combine half the honey, the chilli, turmeric and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and add enough water to create a thick paste.
Drain the lentils and return to the pan. Whisk together the vinegar, half the oil, the remaining honey, half a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper until the honey dissolves. Stir into the lentils while they're still hot, then leave to cool a little. Discard the bay leaves.
Add the walnuts to the honey/chilli paste and stir to coat. Spread on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring once, until crunchy and dry, but still sticky.
Pour the remaining oil into a medium frying pan and place on high heat. Cut the radicchio into eight wedges and place these in the hot oil, sprinkling them with a little salt. Cook for a minute on each side, then transfer into a large bowl.
Add the lentils, walnuts, sliced pecorino and herbs. Stir gently, taste and season accordingly. Serve warmish or at room temperature.
• Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottolenghi in London.