The winter months are a time for hearty soups and stews, roasts and meaty things. This is precisely why I didn’t want to go vegetarian for a month like we usually do this season. I love cold-weather cooking. But this cold weather season doesn’t have to be absent of green, leafy things either.
Wintery Kale and Brussels Sprouts salad is the perfect wintertime salad. It’s seasonally appropriate in that kale and Brussels sprouts are cold-weather plants (i.e., don’t grow kale in July). I love texture, and the combination of thinly sliced kale and Brussels sprouts together is interesting. Both vegetables are served raw, and sometimes I find they can be abrasive and too strong this way – especially the Brussels sprouts – but together they mellow each other out. The lemon juice in the dressing helps tenderize them some, too.
The other accompaniments – toasted almonds, lemony dressing and finely grated pecorino cheese – complement the vegetal flavors of the greens well. Make sure you season the dressing with salt and pepper before tossing the salad, but I also find a sprinkling of Kosher salt right before serving really enhances the flavors.
Wintery Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad
You can prepare the kale/sprouts a day in advance and make the almonds for easier assembly when you're ready.
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot or onion
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 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
12 ounces brussels sprouts, sliced thin or finely grated
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely grated Pecorino
In a pint-sized mason jar, combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Screw on a lid and shake to blend. Prepare kale and shredded brussels sprouts and mix in a large bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add almonds and mix into oil. Stir until almonds begin to toast and lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Drain and cool on a paper towel–lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Add remaining olive oil into jar with lemon-juice mixture and shake vigorously to emulsify. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Almonds, kale mixture and dressing (minus olive oil) can be prepared a day in advance. Store almonds in an airtight container and keep at room temperature. Store kale and dressing separately in the fridge.
To serve, toss kale mixture with dressing and cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with almonds.