Kale Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Apples, and Hazelnuts

This salad tops the list of things I regret from last fall.  I saw it, and I remembered it, but I never got around to making it.  It’s dark.  It’s crunchy.  It’s bold.  It’s sweet.  It showcases the fabulous flavors of autumn and has all the trimmings and trappings of a fall day in the Northwest.   Capture all of it in your favorite made-right-here pottery bowl and you have the perfect recipe for your next get-together, or maybe even that new dish you are looking for to add to your family’s Thanksgiving.

This is a big salad.  It serves 8-10, so make it for a crowd.  You could divide the recipe in half, or better yet, plan to tuck some away for lunches or leftovers.  I cut and prepped everything and literally dirtied just about every item in my kitchen in the process.  This is an amazing salad, and it was well worth the work, but it would be even more amazing if you could pull it together without so much work.

Let’s do this faster.  Buy those hazelnuts roasted.  I love hazelnuts, but what I don’t love is roasting them and trying to get the little skins off.  Cut yourself some slack.  You are still buying a great local product, just making it easier on yourself.  Get those veggies pre-prepped.  You can buy the kale bagged, already stemmed and sliced.  Ditto for the Brussels sprouts, which I know they sell bagged and “shaved” at Trader Joe’s.  Much, much faster.  Do, however, grate the garlic.  I know, it’s a little more effort, but grating really does impart a whole different flavor.

The original recipe on Epicurious called for Mimolette cheese, or aged gouda, grated on the large holes of box grater.  I bought a small chunk of gouda and dutifully grated it, even if it did mean I had to retrieve my box grater from the dark recesses of a high cabinet.  Once it was added to the salad, It thoroughly disappeared.  I tried cutting it into small cubes, but it still remained unremarkable among the sharpness of the kale and sprouts.  I ended up trying some Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar (“tastes like an aged premium cheddar, with hints of Parmesan” ), which not only stood up to the other strong flavors, but also crumbled into nice chunks, eliminating the need for that box grater.   You can use any sharply flavored cheese that you like, but do give this cheese a try.  It’s a good one!

Savor every blazing colored, leaf drifting, fleeting moment of this fall.  Warm some cider, gather some friends, and enjoy this salad.

Kale Salad With Brussels Sprouts, Apple, and Hazelnuts

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound Tuscan kale (about 2 small bunches), stemmed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 crisp apple (Pink Lady, Honeycrisp or similar), cored, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 ounces Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar, or other sharply flavored cheese
  • 6 radishes, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup roasted hazelnuts (3 ounces)

Whisk lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.  Add oil, whisking in a steady stream.  Set aside.

Combine kale and Brussels sprouts in a large mixing bowl.  Add about 1/3 of the dressing and use your hands to massage greens until they soften a bit, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add apple, cheese, half of the radishes and toss to combine.  Taste and add more dressing, and additional salt and pepper if needed.  Transfer to a serving bowl or individual serving plates, and top with nuts and remaining radishes.

adapted from Kale Salad With Brussels Sprouts, Apples, and Hazelnuts by Susan Spungen, Epicurious November 2015 

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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