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Tag: summer (page 2 of 4)

Lentils with Tomatoes, Gorgonzola, and Fresh Herbs

Sooo… Perhaps I should just blog my way through the Plenty cookbook, because here’s yet ANOTHER amazing vegetarian dish to share with you!

Lentils with Tomatoes, Gorgonzola, and Fresh Herbs // adapted from Plenty
Yields 4 large servings

For the oven-dried tomatoes, you’ll need…
6-8 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
8 thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

And for the rest, you’ll need…
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/3 cups French green lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped chives
4 tablespoons chopped dill
4 ounces mild Gorgonzola, crumbled

1. To make the oven-dried tomatoes, preheat the oven to 275°F. Halve the tomatoes and place skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Arrange the thyme sprigs on top of the tomatoes. Drizzle tomatoes and thyme with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with some salt. Roast for 1 1/2 hours, or until semi-dried (the skins will be ever-so-slightly blackened). When finished, discard the thyme and set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, place the sliced red onion in a medium-sized bowl, pour over the red wine vinegar, and sprinkle with salt. Give it a little stir, then leave the bowl alone so the onion softens a bit.
3. Place the lentils in a medium pot of boiling water (the water should come 1 1/4 inches above the lentils) and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.
4. Drain well in a colander and, while still warm, add to the sliced onion. Also add the olive oil, crushed garlic, and some black pepper.
5. Once cool, add the herbs and mix together. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
6. To serve, add the tomatoes (with their cooking juices) and Gorgonzola to the lentil mixture.
7. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.


It may not be as “pretty” as the tart in my previous post, but this dish is a cool and delicious makeover of your run-of-the-mill summertime salad. It would be great for parties, picnics, or just a main course! Lentils are filling!


I served this dish as a main course with a crusty piece of rosemary focaccia (with a mix of olive oil, balsamic, and cracked black pepper for dipping) and a small side of herb-buttered brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes.

Lentils on plate


Oh-so satisfying.

xo Cassie

Yotam’s “Very Full Tart”

I’m going out on quite a limb here… but if you are a vegetarian OR a meat-eater that also enjoys and respects AMAZING vegetarian dishes, buy this book.

I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift from Richard’s sister. Thank you, Julie!


Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi is full of unique vegetarian dishes, perfectly curated to appeal to the novice home cook, as well as the more experienced cook who may be looking for something just a bit more adventurous.

It doesn’t hurt that photographs paired alongside nearly every recipe (ahem, something that I always appreciate) are absolutely stunning.


I chose to make the “Very Full Tart” as my first recipe from the book. It’s a savory Mediterranean tart filled with roasted vegetables, feta cheese, sweet caramelized onions, eggs, cream, and loads of fresh thyme.

The recipe can be found here.

(It’s a bit lengthy to type out for this post, but PLEASE do not let that discourage you from making this deliciousness.)

Yes, it took a couple hours (prepping and cooking), but it was SO SIMPLE. There are no complicated sauces or fancy ways of chopping things. It’s just a really tasty and simple-to-prepare tart.

Did I mention that it’s kinda like pizza in the sense that it’s amazing warm-from-the-oven AND cold?

I am eating a cold slice for brunch right now.




Tart slice

Tart slice

Tart slice

I hope you’ll make this tasty tart — and let me know what you think!

Enjoy your weekend!

xo Cassie

Summertime Hiking

Just a quick little post to share a handful of today’s early-morning photos from my hike with Richard around Bond Lake in Cary — as well as a few that I snapped on my own while at Apex Community Park.





I hope that you, too, were able to enjoy some of the cool weather that today so graciously offered.

IT’S JULY, people!

And we’ve got our WINDOWS open.

And let me tell you — the cats are loving every minute of it.

xo Cassie

Propagating Basil

Aaaaah summertime food.

Olive oil, heirloom tomatoes, oregano, baguettes, balsamic glaze, rosemary, mozzarella, basil… ((singing)) These are a few of my favorite things!

But today is all about basil!


After an overflowing (and delicious) homemade caffè latte, I ventured outside to tend to the patio plants before the 93° heat rolls in.

Yeah, yuck.

While in DC, my brother showed me some tiny basil cuttings that he had snipped from a larger plant and was “propagating” to grow new plants. I had never tried propagating anything, so I decided to give it a whirl at home… since we’ve got basil galore to snip from!

The process couldn’t be simpler.

Cut basil from the top, keeping 1-2 pairs of leaf nodes. Give yourself enough of a “stem”, so that the leaves can help suspend the cutting over water. These photos show two different cups because I started my cuttings in espresso cups (so cute!), but quickly realized that the clear plastic “World Beer Festival” tasting cups that we had lying around were the perfect size — AND we were able to watch the root progress without having to pull the cuttings out of the water.


Okay, obviously these pictures do not show what happens “overnight”, but the roots appeared and grew about 1.5 inches in just about 3 weeks.

Basil cutting 1

Basil cutting 2

Basil cutting 3

Since the roots seemed strong and plentiful, I decided that today was the day that these new “baby basils” were ready to venture out into the REAL WORLD.

In other words, it was time for them to meet soil.

Planting basil

I also did some new cuttings and harvested more basil (likely, for pesto) before heading inside to beat the heat.

Harvesting basil 1

Harvesting basil 2

Washing basil

Drying basil

Seriously, is too much basil even a thing?

Didn’t think so.

Already have a basil plant?

Try propagating it, so simple and fun — it’s like a science project!

xo Cassie

4th of July in D.C.

When deciding what to do for the 4th of July this year, Richard and I decided against Topsail Island with my parents and sister (come on, we just got back from an epic vacation with them). We also decided against drinking IPAs poolside with my friend Rachel (yep, did exactly that for the last two years in a row).

We made plans to head up to DC to spend the long holiday weekend with my brother, Patrick.

And we had a BLAST.

In roughly 80 hours, we…

…ate/drank at approximately 11 bars and restaurants…

Scorpion Bowl

Birch & Barley

Farmers, Fishers, Bakers

Old Ebbitt

…watched the 4th of July parade (and got a tad sunburned)…


…got a little touristy around the White House and National Mall and went inside the Washington Monument, which Patrick and I hadn’t done in 6 years…

White House

White House 2


…went on a moonlight boat cruise…


…watched the DC fireworks show (see title photo)…

…and spent Sunday evening at Busch Gardens where we were able to watch ANOTHER fireworks show! Unfortunately, I didn’t snap any Busch Gardens pictures. I leave my phone in the car, as I’m always paranoid about it slipping out of my pocket on a coaster.

I loved getting spending time in DC with my brother. Richard and I are slowly learning our way around, too!

Bro Sis

Thanks for a fantastic weekend, Patrick! (See you in Busch Gardens soon!)

xo Cassie

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