Warm Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad


Warm Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

I am little late getting on the kale train.  I have eaten it many times before and really have liked it, but Jeff wasn't a big fan so I never really got into cooking with it.  I don’t know what happened, but one day after shopping at our local farmers market, I bought a bunch of fresh organic kale and decided that I was going to make kale chips. Well, after making the kale chips, Jeff decided he loves the stuff and I find myself buying it as a food purchase regularly.

This recipe was inspired by my old next-door neighbor’s recipe for a warm kale and brussel sprout salad.  She had made it for us before and I adored it.  Pretty much you can add anything you want to a salad like this.  Look in your fridge or pantry and start cooking.  I had some butcher cut bacon in the fridge so I decided to use that as a crispy topping and the fat to cook my Brussels sprouts.

Warm Kale Salad

Adapted from Epicurious

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove chopped
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large bunches of kale (1.5 lbs); center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
12 ounces brussel sprouts trimmed, shredded
2 strips of butcher block bacon, chopped
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, chopped garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

In a separate small skillet heat almonds on medium high. Stir frequently until golden brown and you can smell the nuts.  Take the toasted almonds the off heat, sprinkle lightly with salt and put aside to cool.

In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon to render the fat until bacon is crispy.  Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the crispy bacon and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Using the rendered fat in the large skillet, turn the temperature to medium high and add the brussel sprouts.   Saute the mixture with the bacon fat until slightly brown.  After a few minutes, add the kale on top and toss with tongs until the kale is slightly wilted.  Turn off heat.

Kale warming up
Whisk the olive oil into the lemon-juice dijon mixture.  Pour dressing on top of the cooked brussel sprouts and wilted kale.  Sprinkle half the cheese on the kale and brussels sprouts and toss with tongs.

Plate the warm salad and top with some more cheese, toasted almonds, and bacon bits.

The recipe from Epicurious doesn't call for the kale to be warmed on the stovetop, but I love it just a little wilted.  That was the way it was served to me originally and that’s the way Jeff and I both prefer.

I used my mandolin to slice the brussel sprouts.  It makes the slices equal in size and cook evenly.  If someone you know is picky, then this is the way to go because you don't even realize there are Brussels sprouts in the salad.

Warm Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

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