I finally jumped on the raw kale and brussel sprouts salad wagon. I’m not one to follow trends and make food just because everyone else is making it, so I hadn’t got around to using kale or brussel sprouts in a salad, in fact I hadn’t even used either one of them in the raw form that much. I’m usually a cooked person on those.
Well the other day, I needed something to take for lunch with my husband in a hurry. He just started inviting me down for a lunch date every Wednesday and we had just made the plans that week so I wasn’t prepared with any plans for food to go yet. I rummaged around in the fridge and found beautiful dinosaur kale and some leftover brussel sprouts and decided it was finally time to bite the bullet and make a salad out of them since I was out of spinach and lettuce.
I looked around online for a recipe for a bit and didn’t find one I liked, so I decided to make up my own and hope for the best. I love creating anyway, so here was a chance to create something wonderful tasting and surprise my hubby with it. He’s always been my guinea pig for taste testing my food. We have this agreement that he will at least try everything I make and I’m always trying out new things on him or things he claims he doesn’t like. Brussel sprouts and kale used to be two things he hated, now he loves them.
So back to my salad! I made up a dressing using fresh lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, shallots, garlic and some salt and pepper and placed that in the fridge to blend the flavors while I thinly sliced up the kale and sprouts. After tossing them in the bowl, I added in some toasted almonds, a granny smith apple and some cranberries. I topped it all off with some Pecorino Romano cheese.
Like with any salad, you don’t want to dress this one too soon but I do recommend adding the dressing about an hour or two ahead so it has time to breakdown the kale and sprout fibers. Normally in most kale salads, you massage the olive oil into the kale a little early to get rid of the “toughness” in the leaves. This is the same concept. By letting it all marinate a little while, the flavors blend nicely and the fibers breakdown just a bit to make the salad nice and tender.
It was a hit with my hubby, in fact he’s requested it again. The flavors were a blend of sweet, salty, sour earthiness without being overpowering. Everything balanced out on the taste buds beautifully and it was also a pretty salad to serve and impress guests with. I have a feeling even many of the kale and brussel sprout haters out there will love this one, if they give it a try. Try it and let me know what you think! I know I am now a member of the kale and brussel sprout salad fan-club I’m just sorry it took me so long to get on board.
Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. shallot, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and place in the fridge to blend for at least a half an hour before using.
1/2 bunch kale, washed, vein removed and sliced thin (I used dinosaur but would work with your favorite type)
1/2 lb. brussel sprouts, washed, stem removed and sliced thin
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup almonds
1 small granny smith apple, chopped small
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese (Romano and Parmesan will also work great)
Toast the almonds in hot olive oil over medium high heat. Watch and move them constantly until they become fragrant or they will burn. Remove, drain on paper towels and set aside. Lightly chop before adding to salad.
Toss the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl. About one to two hours before serving, mix in half the dressing and the almonds and allow the salad to marinate in the fridge until ready to serve. If not using all the salad immediately, only mix dressing into part you’re using soon and save the rest or it will become soggy and wilted. Reserve the rest of the dressing and serve on the side for those who like more dressing.
Makes about 3 to 4 cups of salad.
More kale and brussel sprout salad recipes: