Saturday, December 3, 2011

Recipe: Winter Salad

photo by: Christopher Testani

As someone who thinks the four food groups are sugar, salt, fat, and chocolate no one is more surprised than me that I’m in love with this salad. Kale? Bitter and tough. Brussels sprouts? Smelly and gross.

This was pretty much the level of maturity I showed when J suggested making a salad to bring to Thanksgiving dinner last week. I didn’t actually say, “GROSS” but I’m not the best at hiding my emotions (the gagging noise didn’t help). Anyway, dear soul and gourmand that he is, he persevered by saying, “I want something bright with all that heavy food” so I shut up. His funeral, right?

Not really. This salad is so crunchy, fresh, tangy, and (damn it) healthy it’s crazy. While all the food we had that day was delicious (thank you, Michael!) this dish was the group favorite. Seconds were had by everyone and I felt so virtuous I ate both my piece of dessert and J’s.
If, like me, you think it has to have tomatoes to be a salad (I miss you guys!), this dish will change your mind.  Get over the Brussels sprout thing because I promise this is a salad you’ll love. And so good for you, you can have extra dessert.

Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot

  • 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, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped (we used sliced almonds and toasted them)

  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino (or Parmesan)

  • Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

    Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel–lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.

    Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

    DO AHEAD: 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.

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

    Bon Appetit, November 2011

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