Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad with Charred Broccoli Pesto

This Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad is so satisfying and nutritious!  The charred broccoli pesto is super flavorful and out of this world!!!  The char of the broccoli adds a beautiful dimension to this salad.  The salad recipe only calls for about half of the pesto, so you could cut the pesto recipe in half but I don’t recommend it.  The pesto is so good that you will want to use the extra on toasted crostini or French bread.

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Lately, I have been on a mission to clear out clothes that no longer serve me or my style.  It is actually harder than you might think.  Clothes have always been a big deal to me.  It goes back to my youth when I was about 14.  I remember being embarrassed that I didn’t have all the cool new expensive clothes.  Each year for back to school, my mom would buy me basic clothes that consisted of three pairs of pants and a few new tops, while all my friends had all the latest in fashion styles.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford them.

It was music that saved me.  My friends and I had gotten into punk rock, mod, ska, and reggae.  It was no longer about expensive clothes but it was all about thrift store and vintage clothes.  My mom would give me lunch money and I would spend it on thrift store clothes.  I could get a whole bag of clothes for super cheap.  My friend Maggie and I wore the same size, so we would each fill up two hefty trash bags full of clothes and swap them with each other every two weeks or so.  We were into being as funky as we could and we never wore the same outfits twice.  It was a way to express my creativity and boy did I have fun with it.  Believe it or not, I still have some of those old thrift store clothes.  Nowadays, I wear maybe twenty percent of my wardrobe.

My current approach to clearing out my old clothes is to divide my closet into two sections.  One section contains the clothes I wear all the time and the other section contains the clothes I can’t seem to part with but will probably never wear again.  I have actually gone into the section that I don’t normally wear and have started to wear some of my old clothes again and I have also been able to part with some as well.   Another thing that has made it easier for me to let go is to give clothes to friends that I know will love them.  My friend Alison is in a bluegrass band called “Sugar by The Pound” and she dresses so cutely in mostly vintage clothes. I have some great vintage clothes that I think she will love.  Is it as hard for you to let go of clothes you are no longer wearing as it is for me?

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad I like to serve this salad with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Recipe:
Approx. 6 – 8 servings
A hearty dish that is great served warm or cold.
  • 1 Cup Dried Black Lentils
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Filtered Water
  • 1 Head Kale – ribbed – thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Radish – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – minced
  • 3 Cup (6 cups raw) Charred Broccoli
  • 1 Cup Charred Broccoli Pesto – recipe below
  • Filtered Water – thin out pesto if desired
Charred Broccoli
  • 2 Large Heads Broccoli  – 8 Cups – roughly chopped – (charring the broccoli literally halves in size)
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Charred Broccoli Pesto
  • 1 Cup Charred Broccoli
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup Pecorino Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste

Sort lentils to make sure there are no rocks then rinse and drain.

Add the lentils and bouillon then cover with 2 inches of water in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low and simmer.

Cook until just tender approx. 20 – 25 minutes, you don’t want them too soft or they will be mushy so check them at 15 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, start the broccoli.

Charred Broccoli
You’re going to char the broccoli for the salad and the pesto at the same time.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss together the broccoli, oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on the baking sheet and place on middle rack.
Roast for 15 minutes, then stir pieces around for even cooking.  Roast for another 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure and check on them every 5 minutes, until broccoli is as charred as you like it.
Measure one cup of the charred broccoli along with remaining ingredients to a food processor or blender.

Blend until desired texture.  Pour into a bowl and stir in the vinegar and oil.


In a large bowl, add lentils and stir in the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt, and pepper.  In a large bowl, massage 1 tablespoon oil into the kale and then add to the lentils.  Mix well.  Sprinkle the veggie on top and serve the pesto on the side.  It can be served warm or cold.

Note * I tend to like the pesto with just a touch of water to thin it out.  This salad is great with a light vinaigrette in place of the pesto as well!

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Health benefits:

Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady stream of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain.  Glucose is a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, and is the only fuel your brain can use.  The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain in excellent shape. They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years.

 Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which help to 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 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 


  1. says

    Involved in the rock band, playing with vintage clothing etc. Your life was so much fun, Steph.. hahaha
    As for this pesto, it looks & sounds wonderful. Love it.

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