Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad - Caity

The first time I had this salad, it was 3 AM and I was at work at the hospital. It was just getting to the point of the nightshift where I wanted to rip out my own eyeballs, I was so tired (lovely image isn't it?). I hadn't packed a very satisfactory lunch for myself so my friend and co-worker, Emily Aspy, was nice enough to share her homemade salad with me. It was a real game changer. I went from grumpy, zombie nurse to enthusiastic salad eater in one bite flat. This salad was crunchy and savory and the bite of the lemon vinaigrette zipped my tastebuds to another level! 

I had to have the salad again; I was hooked! I kindly asked (aka demanded) that Emily please bring me some more of that heavenly salad to work the next night which she did. A couple of days later, I kindly asked (aka demanded) that she give me the recipe. This fantastic recipe comes from the "Holiday Entertaining" magazine which includes the best recipes from Bon Appetit and Gourmet. It also has the added bonus that everything can be prepared several hours to a day ahead of time then mixed together right before serving. 

It is a perfect salad for really any meal but I thought it was really great as a Thanksgiving salad. The lemon vinaigrette cuts through the rest of the meal's rich flavors. I changed the recipe only slightly and around the holidays I like to add pomegranate seeds to make it look really festive! I hope you love it as much as I do! 

Serves 8-10

One year ago: Pumpkin Spice SyrupPumpkin Juice
Two years ago: Bacon & Jalapeño Corn ChowderPeruvian Style Roasted Chicken
Three years ago: Caprese SaladOrzo with Parmesan and BasilTomato Focaccia 

what you'll need:

for the salad
2 large bunches of Tuscan kale
12 oz. brussels sprouts
1/3 cup almonds with skins on, coarsely chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino
Pomegranate seeds (optional)

for the dressing
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I like mine really lemony, so I do a little more than 1/3 cup)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I do a little less, because I like it more lemony)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing:
Combine the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, salt and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. Slowly whisk in the 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To make the salad:
Trim the end off the brussels sprouts and thinly slice (about 1/4 inch thick if possible). I use my mandolin to do the slicing but a knife works just as well. Separate the slices of brussels sprouts until you have ribbons. 

Fold the kale in half and slice to remove the stem of the kale. 

Stack the kale leaves after the stems have been discarded. 

Slice the stack thinly (less than 1/2 inch thick). 

Combine the kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl. 

In a small skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add almonds to the skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with salt. 

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

One year ago: Pumpkin Spice Syrup, Pumpkin Juice
Two years ago: Bacon & Jalapeño Corn Chowder, Peruvian Style Roasted Chicken
Three years ago: Caprese Salad, Orzo with Parmesan and Basil, Tomato Focaccia 

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