Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
This is my favorite salad right now – it’s from the November issue of Bon Appétite, a source of inspiration, love, and late-night cravings. (Thank you, by the way, to my good friends Ben & Jamie for the subscription).
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Brussel sprouts again? Didn’t you just tell us brussel sprouts are better fried in butter? Well, yes, it’s true that brussel sprouts are delicious sautéed delicately in butter, but they are also delicious RAW paired with bitter greens, almonds, drenched in parmesan cheese and salad dressing! Who knew? A slightly healthier take on one of fall’s abundant gifts.
Brussel sprouts are a variety of the cabbage species, and because of selective breeding done in the thirteenth century in Belgium, brussel sprouts look like tiny perfect cabbages. They grow on a heavy stalk and their prime season is late fall and early winter. On occasion you can find the entire dramatic-looking stalk in certain markets, and if you do, select one with small firm sprouts, as these are sweeter, and avoid ones with yellow, wilting leaves or sprouts that do not form a tight head.
You might never think to pair these two ingredients, especially not raw, but it works, it really works. It’s kind of like coleslaw/ceaser salad but its really filling and the almonds add this wonderful crunch and nutty flavor. Love love love it. Make it now!
The shredding is a bit meticulous. I used a sharp pairing knife to slice the sprouts in 1/8-inch pieces and then shred them into smaller bits. Alternatively, you could remove the thicker stem from each head which allows the leaves to separate and finely chop the leaves. Raw kale is best eaten finely chopped or, as shown here, in fine ribbons which is accomplished by rolling a stack of leaves together, as if making a cigar, and then cutting across the role. This type of cut is known as a chiffonade.
Nevertheless, it’s a fairly quick salad, could be served as a main course, but is also a perfect accompaniment to cut through the rich heavy foods we tend to eat in the fall time.
From Bon Appétit:
- 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 lb. total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped (I doubled the almonds here)
- 1 cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/2 tsp. 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 Tbsp. 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.