Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

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You may have noticed (or maybe not, but if you look at the list of recipes on this blog, you will) that I like salads.  I think there might be more recipes in the “salad” category than any other (okay, my bad…there are more desserts, but only slightly more…lol).  We have salad as a side dish almost every night (Caesar, Broccoli Slaw, Watermelon/Tomato/Cucumber) and often have just a more substantial salad as our main course (Fiesta Chicken, Nicoise).  There’s such an infinite number of possibilities and combinations of ingredients (lots of lettuces and other greens and veggies and potatoes and grains) and so many other goodies (dried fruits and nuts and seeds and cheese and eggs and meats) you can toss together with a multitude of different vinaigrettes and dressings! I bet I could do a different salad every day for a couple months.  In fact, I’ve just given myself an idea…I think I might have to do a week of “salad a day” posts.

So this just happens to be my most recent favorite. I had a similar salad at a dinner party a couple weeks ago and loved it.  Have to admit, when the person who made the salad said it had kale and brussels sprouts in it, I thought, “yuck…raw brussels sprouts?  And kale?  I don’t like kale.” So I put a little on my plate (just to be polite) and I tried it.  And then I went back for more.  It was really good.  So good in fact, that I took note of the ingredients and then came home and searched on Epicurious and found this recipe from Bon Appétit. I made it twice last week. Twice!  I guess I like kale.

I actually read the directions wrong and ended up tossing the kale and brussels with the dressing early and let the whole thing sit while I was making the rest of dinner.  I think it might even be better this way…lets the veggies soften a little!

AND A NOTE:  My friend Barbara commented on FB that she made this salad and loved it.  What I found out later was that she used a cheese grater to grate the sprouts and really hacked up her fingers.  I’m sorry Bobba!  The first few times I made this, I shredded them by hand…cut the sprout in half lengthwise, flip them cut-side down and then starting at the short side, slice very thinly.  But that was only because I lost the slicing disk for my food processor (I’m not sure how someone loses a slicing disk, but I did.  I’ve only had the food processor for 28+ years!!)  Anyway, I just ordered a new one on line and man, oh man, does it make this so much easier!!! 

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced (I bought a bag of Trader Joe’s already chopped Tuscan kale and then chopped it into smaller pieces)
12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife (Trader Joe’s actually has already shredded brussels, but the packages didn’t look all so good the day I was there.)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel–lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.

Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.  DO AHEAD: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.

Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.

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