Black Lentils and Wild Garlic Pesto

I love to cook in season ingredients as much as I can. I get super excited at this time of year where every week we find new products. My favourite is Wild Garlic, very short season but very intense. If you are lucky to live near a forest you can forage it for free. In this salad I put it together with my beloved black beluga lentils and the first radish of the season. It’s super aromatic, fresh, crunchy and hearty. When you try the first mouthful you know that spring is here.


For Wild Garlic Pesto:

For Black Lentil Salad :

  • ½ cup of Black Beluga Lentils

  • 12 leaves of Cavolo Nero

  • 1 Lemon (zest and juice)

  • 1 bunch of radish

  • 2 Tbsp of Sunflower seeds

  • 1 Tbsp of Pumpkin seeds

  • 1 Tbsp of Hemp Seeds

  • 1 Tbsp of Olive oil

  • Salt and peper to taste


Step 1 – Rinse the lentils with running water and cook them in plenty of water for 20 mins. Wash the kale and cut the middle core with a knife, repeat for all the leaves.
Step 2 – Cut the stalks very finely. They are full of fibre and vitamins. They are also full of flavour and will add another texture to the dish.
Step 3 – Bring together the chopped kale and stalks with a pinch of salt flakes. Add zest and juice of the lemon and massage with your hands for a few minutes.
Step 4 – Slice the radish in 8 little moons or as you prefer. Drain the Lentils and rinse them with cold water. Set aside in a colander and let them drain the remaining water for 5 mins.
Step 5 – Dry roast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a pan for a few minutes. Start layering the salad with the Kale, Lentils and radish. Spread the hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds on top.
Step 6 – Mix together 4 Tbsp of the Wild Garlic Pesto with 1Tbsp of extra virgin Olive Oil. Add a splash of water to thin the dressing if needed. Spread the dressing in the top and mix to coat.

About the Ingredients

Black Beluga Lentils: You can substitute for green or brown lentils, whatever you have at home. Lentils are nutritional powerhouses. They are cholesterol-free and sodium-free, and loaded with potassium, folate, iron and fibre. One serving of lentils boasts nearly half as much protein as a serving of pork, and two times as much protein as a serving of quinoa. We love lentils in this house and have them at least 3 times a week.

Cavolo Nero: Like kale, it is a good source of lutein, vitamins K, A and C, and a significant source of the B vitamins. It is also a source of fibre and calcium, as well as containing manganese, copper, iron and many other minerals. By massaging with lemon, a source of vitamin C, it makes its nutrients more available to absorb, especially iron.

Radish: Radishes grow underground just like carrots! Radishes contain antioxidants, calcium, and potassium. These nutrients help to lower high blood pressure and reduce risk for heart disease. It is also a good source of natural nitrates which help improve blood flow. They come in season in early spring and are perfect to add to spring salads.

How to serve: This earthy salad is delicious and a complete meal on its own. You can also have it as side dish or as a starter. I like it with a slice of Buckwheat Bread.