Citrus Lentil Salad with Kale Pesto

The fragrant lentils in this salad get a jolt of freshness from juicy oranges. A dollop of healthy kale pesto rounds out this easy dish.

Slideshow: Kale Recipes
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
KEY: Barbecue/Cookout, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Beans, Grains & Legumes, Salads, Side Dishes, Fast, Gluten-Free, Healthy, Make Ahead, Vegetarian, Web Exclusive, Dinner, Lunch

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kale pesto
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons water
lentil salad
  • 1 1/2 cup lentils
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 navel oranges, cut into segments, juice reserved
  • 1/4 bunch chopped basil leaves
  • 1/4 bunch chopped flat-leaf parsley

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the Kale Pesto Remove the ribs and stems from the kale leaves. Rinse, and then add the leaves to a pot with 1/4 cup of water over medium heat. Cover and simmer until kale is tender but can still hold its shape, about 4 minutes. Drain excess water from the braised kale leaves, and add to the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Make the Kale Pesto To make the pesto, combine the kale, almonds, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Start by slowly drizzling in the olive oil, and process until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a bowl, and fold in the grated Parmesan cheese. If consistency is too thick, loosen with a tablespoon or two of water.
  3. Make the Lentil Salad Bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook until al dente, about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve.
  4. Make the Lentil Salad Meanwhile, wash and trim the bulb of fennel, halve lengthwise, and slice very thinly crosswise. Place slices in a prep bowl and set aside.
  5. Make the Lentil Salad To prepare the orange segments, cut a thin slice off the stem end of 1 orange to reveal the flesh. Stand the orange upright and slice off the peel and pith in thick strips, cutting from the top to bottom and following the curve of the fruit. Working over a bowl and using a small paring knife, cut between the membranes to release the segments and juice of the fruit. Reserve the segments in their juice and set aside.
  6. Make the Lentil Salad In a large bowl, toss the lentils with 1/3 cup of the kale pesto and the juice from the oranges until evenly coated. Spoon lentils onto serving platter and top with the fennel slices and orange segments. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil and parsley, and serve.


Remaining pesto can be frozen for later use.

Contributed By Photo © Sarah Bolla Published September 2014

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