lentils with mint + poblano pesto

March 20th, 2012

Friends, lets talk about lentils. In my mind up until a few days ago lentils were pretty low on the list of things I’d want to have for lunch (or any meal for that matter). You see, my picky stereotyping of foods still pops up every now and then. I was stuck on the idea that lentils were gross. Well, maybe not gross, but just unappealing and boring. Then I had lentils at one of the places that continually opens my mind to new foods, Romans (owned by the fine folks of Marlow & Sons who are also working on a super cool project) and holy cow! Lentils are amazing! You guys, I’ve been missing out my entire life! So I have some making up to do. I quickly got to work making my first lentil recipe at home.

I started out by searching for some recipes online and found one over on 101 cookbooks that made my mouth water, which is always a good sign. Always one to wander a bit when I’m in the kitchen, I ended up creating a lentil salad that is super simple and a bit more paired down that the original recipe.

First off, let’s talk about how easy lentils are to make. Lentils, water and time—that’s it. Who knew?! Well, don’t answer that. I’m pretty sure everyone but me, so let’s move on. I followed Heidi’s directions and created a simple and bright mint and poblano pesto. When the lentils finished cooking, I mixed together about a cup of the lentils with a few spoonfuls of the pesto. Then I added some chopped up dates, slivered almonds and a drizzle of lemon zested greek yogurt, which add really great texture and flavor to the salad. Heeeaaavenly! Seriously, it’s light and bright and tastes like spring. Thank goodness I finally tried lentils!

Lentils with mint and poblano pesto

serves 2 lunches or 4 sides | adapted from 101 cookbooks
mint + poblano pesto

1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 poblano pepper, de-veined and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt
a touch of sugar, or honey, or agave nectar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor (or blender). Pulse 4-5 times, until the pesto is a uniform texture. Taste, you may need to add salt or pepper.  Set aside


1/4 cup mint + poblano pesto
2 cups cooked lentils*
3 dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup greek yogurt, thinned with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon, a little water and the little lemon zest

1. Combine the pesto and lentils in a large bowl. Taste—you may need to add more pesto according to your own taste.

2. Sprinkle the chopped dates and almonds over top, then drizzle with the yogurt sauce. Enjoy!
*The Kitchn has a great tutorial on how to make lentils.

Comments: 11 Total

  1. Cookie + Kate

    March 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I la-la-la-love lentils! I have a big pot of lentil curry in the fridge now but I may have to make your recipe next. It looks so fresh and full of flavor!

  2. la domestique

    March 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I like earthy lentils, and I can’t wait to try the mint and poblano pesto! Love the flavors you have going on here!

  3. Stacy

    March 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I’ve already fallen, hard, for lentils, but this looks like a delicious preparation! So glad to hear you’ve discovered these powerful and tasty little legumes (:

  4. Christine

    March 21, 2012 at 6:25 am

    This looks fabulous, but I think you may have left the poblanos out of the ingredient list.

  5. kelly

    March 21, 2012 at 8:22 am

    oy—thanks for letting me know! I’ve adjusted it now.


  6. Eileen

    March 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    This looks like a really great idea! I love lentils, especially when combined with pungent green herbs, and I have mint growing in my front yard…I should definitely give this a try. Thanks!

  7. Jen

    March 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Yum. I just cannot find poblano chilis in Calgary buhh

  8. Chris

    April 1, 2012 at 10:21 am

    sorry but how do you make the poblano & mint pesto? mash everything together with a blender? thanks!! it looks lovely, can’t wait to try it out!

  9. kelly

    April 1, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Hi Chris,
    I just added the directions, sorry about that!

  10. Jim Denforth

    April 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Looks delicious! What a great taste and mouthfeel this must have, thanks!

  11. Pingback: The Best Pesto You’ll Ever Have | A CUP OF JO

    December 4, 2014 at 11:55 am

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