Romanesco Black Lentil Pilaf

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 side servings 1x
  • Category: Salad


This lentil pilaf is an easy, flavorful side dish to any holiday meal and can work well with other brassicas if you cannot find romanesco. 




  • 1 head romanesco (about 1pound)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 cup black lentils
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup broth
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1/2 cup medjool dates (minced (roughly 4 to 5 pitted))
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Trim end and core from romanesco. Chop into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces. Transfer to baking tray and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until slightly brown.
  3. In a small pot, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and let cook until fragrant. Add in cumin, coriander, and salt. Stir well and add in black lentils, continuing to stir until the lentils are well coated with spice. Pour in broth and water. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Let cook until lentils are soft but retain their shape, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. When romanesco is cooked and slightly cooled, transfer to a food processor. Pulse until romanesco pieces are about the same size as the lentils, about 3 to 4 pulses.
  5. In a large bowl, combine lentils, romanesco, dates, almonds, and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.


Tips & Tricks: I usually cover the lentils for part of the time, but uncover them part way through to let them finish cooking.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: black lentils, olive oil, vegetable broth


  • Calories: 315
  • Sugar: 23
  • Sodium: 226
  • Fat: 11.8
  • Carbohydrates: 43
  • Protein: 13.6
  • Cholesterol: 43