Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
With a creamy, rich umami flavor, this Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad is delicious, versatile and loaded with nutrition. Quick and easy with pre-cut veggies or chopped in a food processor.
Kale used to be an outcast in our house. It would arrive in our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box and sit in the refrigerator until it turned yellow and wrinkled. Then it was composted.
And so, I was excited when I discovered this Kale and Brussels Sprout salad at a potluck. Yes, I enjoyed it so much, I went back for seconds (okay thirds) and then unabashedly poured the entire bowl of remaining salad onto my plate.
At least I was obsessed with something healthy and seasonal!
It’s been a hit in our household ever since. Joined by other great kale discoveries like Tuscan Kale Salad and Kale Tabbouleh.
Why You’ll Love This!
Tasty. This is one of my family’s favorite salads. With a rich, flavorful dressing and a tasty, slightly crunchy, base, it won over even the biggest kale haters!
Quick & Easy. I don’t remember where I read the admonishment that went something like, “Noooooo, don’t chop the kale in the food processor.” Well, I do. And it’s fine. The Brussels sprouts go in there too. So there.
Of course if you aren’t using up that CSA kale (or garden Brussels sprouts), both veggies are commonly available pre-chopped in your vegetable aisle.
Nutritious. This salad is a bonanza of nutrition! You get a nice cruciferous veggie in the Brussels Sprouts. And, hmm, does kale count as a 2nd cruciferous or a leafy green? Add calcium rich Parmesan, vitamin C from lemon juice and healthy olive oil. I always knew healthy food could have flavor!
What You’ll Need
Garlic. This adds flavor to the dressing.
Dijon mustard. This adds flavor and helps the dressing to emulsify.
Worcestershire sauce. This also adds flavor and an umami component (along with the Parmesan cheese).
Pepper, Salt. These add flavor. I was surprised that the salad benefitted from salt given the high sodium Worcestershire sauce, but it tasted a little flat until I added it.
Lemon. This adds flavor, balances the oil and is a component of the emulsification process that creates a tasty vinaigrette.
Extra virgin olive oil. This forms the bulk of the dressing and you should try to use at least half extra virgin olive oil for the flavor. I go with 100% EVOO now, but in my more budget conscious days, I would sometimes sub half of a less expensive oil and it was still delicious.
Kale. Any type of food (non ornamental) kale can be used here. I tend to use lacinato or curly kale.
Brussels sprouts. This pairs with the kale for a tasty and nutritious salad!
Parmesan cheese. This adds richness, nutrition and umami flavor
Chopped almonds. This adds more richness and a slight crunch to the salad. While using almonds is my first choice in this, I will substitute pecans or other nuts that I have on hand. If you have a nut allergy but can eat seeds like pepitas or sunflower seeds, those could be substituted. I like to sprinkle some additional nuts onto the salad at the end.
A food processor is very helpful since there is a lot of chopping in this!
A microplane is perfect for finely grating a block of Parmesan cheese, but the tips includes an alternative.
Step by Step Directions
Combine dressing ingredients.
Chop kale and Brussels Sprouts as needed.
Combine chopped kale and shaved (or chopped) Brussels sprouts.
Add dressing and toss until well coated.
Add Parmesan cheese and toasted nuts and toss again.
How to Serve
Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad would be delicious as a side dish and can also work as a first course salad.
I think that’s because it has just the right blend of casual and formal. This means it works in casual settings like lunches or picnics as well as with a more elegant dinner like steak or seafood.
This recipe is already vegetarian and can be made vegan and dairy free by using a vegan Parmesan. Alternatively, some extra nuts and nutritional yeast can sub in a pinch.
This salad is best the first day but it’s also good the next day or two. If you’ll need to keep it any longer than that consider a trick I use with a number of different salads.
If I need, let’s say, half of a salad but I want to make the whole recipe for efficiency I do this. I prepare the salad, the dressing and toppings and keep everything separate in the refrigerator. The first day I prepare a half salad using half of the ingredients and leave the other half, still separated, in the refrigerator.
Then I have up to a week (depending on the recipe) to make up the remainder. And this way instead of a soggy old salad, it tastes as fresh as new!
Tips & FAQs
This salad tastes best when the dressing is well mixed into the greens. I usually mix it in a large bowl, then transfer it to an appropriately sized serving bowl.
If you don’t have a microplane, you can buy finely grated Parmesan. Or fresh Parmesan can be shredded with a standard grater, then pulsed in a blender or food processor to create a fine grate. Since it needs to coat the vegetables, it is important that it is very fine.
- Chicken Caesar Salad from That Recipe
- Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad from Blogghetti
- Greek Panzanella from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Greek Salad with Grape Tomatoes and Feta from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Italian Sub Salad from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad from Art of Natural Living
- Skillet Radish Bacon Salad from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Southwestern Oven-Fried Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing from The Spiffy Cookie
- Strawberry Spinach Salad from Magical Ingredients
- The Best Potato Salad from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you’re at it, join our Pinterest board, too!
Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3-4 Tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or half olive oil, half lighter oil)
- 3-4 cups chopped kale (1 large bunch, stems removed)
- 3-4 cups shaved Brussels sprouts (about 1 quart whole Brussels sprouts)
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (see note)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds or other nuts (plus more for garnish if desired, optionally toasted)
- Finely mince the garlic (or put through a garlic press). Mix with the salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Combine chopped kale and shave Brussels sprouts. Add dressing and toss until well coated.
- Add parmesan cheese and toasted nuts then toss again.
- Serve immediately.
Originally published 11-15-2015
- Oven-Poached Lemon Butter Cod
- Award Winning Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
The texture of this salad sounds incredible! I love the flavors in the dressing too!
This is really, really interesting — a neat recipe. I’ve had loads of Brussels sprouts and kale, but never mixed together. Nice!
So much goodness in this salad!
I love everything about this salad! Sounds very delicious and is very healthy too
A good way to service extra healthy veggies in any meal!
I love eating Brussels Sprouts in salads when they are shaved like this! Yum!
So much nutrition in a bowl! No wonder you had thirds.
Yup! (shhh 😉 )
This is a super healthy side dish for those of us who want to add balance to the gluttony of the season. The dressing sounds delicious!
Do you ever massage your kale, Inger? I find it really helps. That and finely chopping and the right vinaigrette. I love the combo with the Brussels sprouts! Perfect for autumn!
I’ve heard of pet massage, but never kale massage David! I suppose that tenderizes it?? I will have to give it a try–thanks for the tip!
Thanks for this recipe Inger, as I have never had raw Brussels sprouts…it sure look tasty with kale, Parmesan cheese and almond…
Have a wonderful weekend 🙂
This was a first on the raw Brussels sprouts for me too Juliana! Have a great weekend too!
i just vowed to be done with brussels sprouts, darn it! this is different from any preparation i’ve tried, though, so i suppose i can’t give up on them yet. 🙂
Sometimes I think things are easier to eat up if I can just figure out how to get them into a salad! So no, don’t give up yet Grace! (Maybe you can do something with Brussels sprouts and tomatoes 😉
This looks really tasty! I never would have thought to try Brussels sprouts raw – I always cook them. Will need to give this a try next time I’ve got some on hand. 🙂
I’m resolved to finish up my Brussels sprouts while they still look really fresh this year! Too many years of pulling shriveled old sprouts out of the basement fridge!