Kale has gotten a lot of attention over the past several years. But what comes to mind when you read ‘Brussels sprouts’? Do you perk up or do you cringe? The first few times I ate them, honestly, I thought they were gross. They were squeaky, water logged mini cabbages with a faintly skunky smell.
But then I tried them thinly sliced and sautéed in olive oil with garlic and they were delicious. Later still, I ate them roasted with delicata squash and bits of bacon, even better. But now I think I’ve discovered my favorite way to eat them – raw.
Our CSA share last week had tight, brilliantly green Brussels sprouts and a little bunch of Italian kale. I immediately thought of a recipe I’d seen in Bon Appétit magazine several years ago. It was a kale and Brussels sprout salad and it stuck in my mind because it’s uncommon to see those two vegetables served raw.
The key to this salad is to slice the kale and Brussels sprouts into tiny ribbons, really more like coleslaw than salad. The tangy lemon Dijon vinaigrette clings to every shred and balances the boldly flavored greens and toasted almond chunks and shreds of pecorino cheese make the salad feel indulgent.
Keith commented that he’d choose this over a Caesar salad any-day, and he loves Caesar salad. Maybe you’ll agree.
Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
You'll want to use Italian kale, also called lacinato or dino kale for this as the leaves are more tender than other kale varieties.
For the dressing:
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
- 8 ounces Brussels sprouts about 20, bottom and outer leaves trimmed
- 1 small bunch Italian kale
- 2 ounces shredded pecorino cheese
- 1 ounce toasted, salted almonds coarsely chopped
Prepare the dressing in the bottom of your salad serving bowl - it's easier to toss it into the greens from the bottom. Whisk the shallot, mustard and lemon juice together, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper
Using a sharp knife (or the slicing blade of your food processor), thinly slice the Brussels sprouts and kale leaves. Add to the dressing in the bowl and toss to coat. Add about half of the shredded pecorino and toss again. Top with remaining pecorino and almonds; serve.