It used to be that getting together for dinner with friends was not only a welcomed opportunity to catch up but just as much a dash to escape the dinnertime madness at home. More recently though, we’ve returned to the house. Conversation is easier, we have more flexibility and the kids are otherwise busy doing sports or homework. Also, we’ve found that the food tends to be top-notch as everyone puts their best effort into one stellar dish. Frequently at nights’ end, we come home with an adopted recipe as is the case with this kale salad.
Kale can be a bit tough and does not stand alone too well. I know there’s a lot of infatuation with it these days, but until being introduced to this salad, I was more apt to use it in a soup or saute where it blends right in or to enjoy it in chip form. And brussels sprouts stir some controversy. They were clearly known to be my Dad’s least favorite food so that had a bit of an influence on me. It wasn’t until bacon came on the scene as a mix-in that I decided to give them a try. Now they’re frequently in the rotation.
Had I seen this kale/brussels sprouts combo in a magazine or cookbook, I likely would have flipped right by it. Don’t do it. It’s so good. The texture of the leaves and sprouts combined with the crunch of the nuts and flavor of the dressing make it a true winner. It’s easy to prepare and can withstand being tossed in advance unlike many salads that quickly go to soggy.
Let me know what you think!
Prep and Cook Time: 20 mins | Servings: 4-6
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot
- 1 small garlic clove, finely diced
- Pinch of kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large bunch of Tuscan kale (about 3/4 of a pound total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 6 ounces brussels sprouts (approx. 18), trimmed, finely grated or sliced with a knife
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino
NOTE for Advanced Preparation: 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.
- For dressing, combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, salt and a pinch of pepper in a measuring cup or small bowl.
- Whisk to blend; set aside to let flavors meld.
- Measure 1/4 cup oil in measuring cup.
- Spoon 2 teaspoons of oil from the cup into a small skillet; heat over medium-high heat.
- Add chopped almonds to the skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about a minute.
- Transfer nuts to a paper towel–lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.
- Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
- Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture.
- Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat.
- Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Toss with almonds.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious