This is my all time favorite way to eat brussels sprouts. It’s not exactly quick, and it’s definitely more hands on than simply roasting the sprouts, but I love the fresh flavor and crunch from the thin slices. It’s healthy, filling and has a savory element that helps it stand up to roasted meats and holiday spreads. I love to make it for Thanksgiving or Christmas as it’s beautiful, sturdy and most importantly, very flexible. You can make the dressing and toast the almonds several days in advance, slice the vegetables the day before, and toss the salad 20 minutes ahead of time. It’s a salad that won’t fall apart on you over the course of a meal— and it’s just as good the next day, when you might be feeling the urge to fill up on some vegetables. For a special occasion, it’s more than worth the effort.
For me, a mandolin is an indispensable tool for this salad. The thin, even shavings of brussels sprouts are so hard to achieve with a knife or food processor, and while it is time consuming, you won’t regret the end result. Enjoy!
brussels sprout and kale salad with pecorino and almonds
makes 8- 10 servings
1 bunch flat leaf kale, washed, patted dry, stems removed and discarded
1 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts, washed and patted dry
1 cup whole almonds
1 1/4 cup pecorino cheese, grated
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (plain white wine vinegar will work in a pinch)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp + 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Slice off the dead end of the brussels sprout stem, remove any old or bruised leaves and cut the sprout in half. Very thinly slice each brussels sprout with a mandolin or a sharp knife and transfer to a large bowl.
Stack 4-5 leaves of kale, roll into a tight cylinder (like a cigar), and thinly slice the leaves. Repeat this chiffonade technique with remaining leaves and transfer to the bowl with brussels sprouts.
Heat 2 tsp olive oil in small sauté pan over medium heat. Add almonds and stir frequently until they begin to brown and smell nutty, 3- 5 minutes. Transfer almonds to paper towel lined plate, sprinkle with kosher salt, let cool, then roughly chop almonds.
Add chopped almonds and pecorino to bowl with brussels sprouts and kale. At this point, the salad can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for a day or two.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until thick and emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour two- thirds of the dressing over the salad, toss well and taste. Add more dressing as needed, to coat the shredded leaves— you may not need all of it.
The salad can be dressed up to 20 minutes in advance and left at room temperature to let the vegetables to soften and flavors meld.