Roasted Poblano Cilantro Pesto Kale Salad

This is a unique full of flavor salad and the best part is it’s what I had on hand which means you can add or subtract ingredients that you have or like better, keeping to the Mexican theme of it.  A couple ideas would be corn, red bell peppers, avocado and jicama.  What else would you use?


 This weekend was a beautiful one, to say the least. Everyone assumes California is always sunny but that isn’t true here in northern California, actually, we have more sun in the winter than the summer most the time. Don’t get me wrong we do have nice summer days but we have a lot of foggy days too. Since it was a beach day I made this salad to bring, along with some roasted poblano cilantro pesto, P’ tit Basque cheese, Mahon cheese, raw walnuts and almonds, Fuji apples, grapes and some Albarino wine. There is nothing better than a picnic in my opinion!


 I enjoyed this salad with Albarino wine but it would also go well with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, White Rioja or a Rose.

Roasted-Poblano-Cilantro-Kale-Salad Recipe – 4 – 6 Servings

  • 1 1/2 Cups cooked Black Beans
  • 3/4 Cup Roasted Poblano Cilantro Pesto – recipe below
  • 1 Poblano Pepper – Roasted
  • 1 Head of Kale (I use Luciano ) – chopped into thin strips
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Red Onion – minced
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage  – minced
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeño Pepper  – minced
  • 2 Large Tomatoes (I used yellow) – diced
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste

Pesto – for the whole recipe click here

  • 1/2 Poblano Peppers – roasted
  • 1/2 Cups Cilantro
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Manchego Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt (or to taste)
Black Beans

In a medium sized pot, put a small hand full of beans in the pot at one at a time, making sure there are no rocks.  Then rinse the beans and add the water.

Bring to a boil on medium-high heat boiling for approx. 45 minutes or until water starts to evaporates and add more water then cook for another 45 minutes or longer still, checking on water levels.

* Add Sea Salt to taste AT THE END or they will be tough.

Taste to see if soft, if so turn heat down to medium and add salt to taste and let cook for 5 more minutes to infuse salt.

It depends on how old the beans are as to how long it will take to cook, older beans will take longer.

* If you have a problem with gas after eating beans. Try soaking dried beans in water for at least six to eight hours before cooking to reduce gas formation.  Or place beans in a saucepan with cold water, cover and bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and let sit for an hour.  Turn the stove to medium-high heat for about an hour or until beans are soft.


Roast the poblano peppers, remove the stem and seeds.

  Measure everything and put into a bowl of a food processor or blender and puree until the desired texture.

Roasted peppers

Roast the peppers on the stovetop on medium-high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.


Wash the kale and tear off the main rib by holding the end of the stem and sliding off the leaves then chop into thin strips.

Put the kale in a large bowl with the olive oil and massage the oil into the kale.

Add the onion, poblano, jalapeno, tomato and red cabbage

Mix together the pesto, vinegar, cilantro and salt add to kale and mix well then drain the beans and add.

*You can also mix the dressing with the kale and mix everything else in a bowl and top on individual servings of the kale.

Health benefits:

Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which help detox the liver. It is also an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma.  Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for a cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol.  It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.)    More on kale 

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.

Cilantro is an immune-booster that helps detoxify the body by loosening toxins from the tissue, binding to and pulling out toxins and heavy metals.  It helps promote healthy liver function and is an overall digestive aid.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. It also helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar. It is rich in antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins (one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K) and dietary fiber.

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