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.

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

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!

Ingredients

What You’ll Need

Dressing Ingredients:

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. Partial Ingrredients

Salad Ingredients:

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.  

Special Tools

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.

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Step by Step Directions

Combine dressing ingredients.

whisk dressing

Chop kale and Brussels Sprouts as needed.

Chop veggies

Combine chopped kale and shaved (or chopped) Brussels sprouts.

combine veggies

Add dressing and toss until well coated.

Add dressing

Add Parmesan cheese and toasted nuts and toss again.

add cheese and nuts

Serve immediately.

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. 

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad served

Variations

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. 

Leftovers

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!

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

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.

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Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

With a creamy, rich umami flavor, this Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad is delicious, versatile and loaded with nutrition. Quickand easy with pre-cut veggies or chopped in a food processor.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Dressing

  • 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)

Salad

  • 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)

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

If you don't have a microplane, 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.

Originally published 11-15-2015

16 thoughts on “Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

  1. David

    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!

    1. Inger Post author

      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!

  2. Juliana

    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 🙂

    1. Inger Post author

      This was a first on the raw Brussels sprouts for me too Juliana! Have a great weekend too!

  3. grace

    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. 🙂

    1. Inger Post author

      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 😉

  4. Lynn

    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. 🙂

    1. Inger Post author

      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!

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