Share |

A Salad with Heft

Jan 30, 2020

We all have that friend who loves food but doesn’t really care to cook. These friends are lovely people and have many strengths, but the kitchen just isn’t their realm. Occasionally, one may venture into domestication, and that is when things like Oreo Salad happen.

I would like it entered into the record that I have nothing against Oreo Salad. I have never prepared the concoction of pudding, whipped topping and cookies, nor have I ever eaten it. But, as a South Dakota native, I am very aware of this Midwestern version of a so-called salad (and its cousin, the Snicker Salad). I don’t think that any South Dakota salad bar, buffet or potluck would be complete without at least one bowl of creamy sweetness. If my friend made Oreo Salad for me, I would appreciate the thoughtfulness and effort and would savor every sugary bite.

However, when it came time to return the favor, I would add a little color to the meal. I like winter salads with heft. Roasted Broccoli and Lentil Salad includes a smoky tahini and red pepper dressing that is so good you may be tempted to drink it straight from the jar. Shredded carrots add crunch, parsley has freshness, pistachios lend slight sweetness and feta is bright and salty. While it may lack the pure indulgence of Oreo Salad and require a few more kitchen skills, Roasted Broccoli and Lentil Salad fortifies and fully pleases our palates.


The freshness and saltiness of Roasted Broccoli and Lentil Salad complements that South Dakota mainstay: Oreo Salad.

Roasted Broccoli and Lentil Salad

(adapted from Food52)


2 cups black lentils, rinsed and picked over

1 yellow onion, peeled and halved

2 bay leaves

2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets

kosher salt

olive oil

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

2 ounces feta, cut into small cubes (or crumbled)

1/3 cup pistachios, chopped


Tahini and Red Pepper Dressing

1 roasted red pepper, seeded (jarred or freshly roasted and peeled)

1 clove garlic

3 tablespoons tahini

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Add lentils, onion and bay leaves to a saucepan and cover with at least an inch of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and discard the onion and bay leaves.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange broccoli florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Toss to thoroughly coat. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through, until broccoli is charred, but still retains some texture.

To make the dressing, blend all the ingredients until smooth. (I do this in a mason jar with my wand blender to avoid excess dirty dishes, but a blender or food processor would also work well for the task.) Add more water, if needed to thin the dressing. Adjust seasonings to taste after blended.

To assemble the salad, toss the warm (drained) lentils and shredded carrots with the tahini dressing. Fold in the roasted broccoli, parsley and feta. Just before serving stir in pistachios. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers will keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. (Serves 4-6)


Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their three dogs ranch near Colome.


Share your thoughts, post a comment to this story:

Your Name:
Your Email Address:  
Your Website:
2000 characters remaining
Web Design by Buildable