If you know me at all then you I’m a bit of a kale addict.
Raw kale salad features prominently on my lunch menus. My usual approach is simple: finely chopped raw curly kale tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes I add orange wedges, red chilli and sunflower seeds. Other times I add red onion and carrots. Sometimes I add boiled eggs, beans, tofu, tempeh, or bulgar wheat.
This weekend I discovered that Tuscan Kale, aka ‘Cavolo Nero’, is also great in raw salads. A family friend sent this recipe, which sounds like a weird melange of ingredients: Tuscan kale, brussels sprouts, pecorino and almonds in a lemon vinaigrette. Does this really go together?
It does. You’ll just have to trust me and try it. The key is to shred the kale and sprouts very finely. I use my hands to really rub the dressing into the leaves and then give it a half hour to soak in. You could skip the cheese and make it vegan, but I don’t think it would be as good (sometimes those are the breaks!).
If you’ve never had raw kale salad before, this is a pretty good place to start. I suspect it would work well with curly kale, too, or cabbage in place of the brussels sprouts. Ah but that is the beauty of salads, isn’t it? Endless adaptation. Anyone who thinks salad is just a big pile of leaves is just wrong!
Raw Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
Adapted from a recipe from a family friend. Made with Tuscan “cavolo nero” kale.
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt plus more for seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale / cavolo nero (about 1 1/2 lb. total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely sliced or shredded
- 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup finely grated Pecorino, Parmesan, Grano Padano or other hard Italian cheese
- Make the dressing: Combine olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to blend then set aside to let the flavours meld.
- Toast the almonds in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown.
- Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Toss with the salad dressing (add as much dressing to suit your tastes – you may not need it all). Use your hands if you like to really rub the dressing into the leaves. Toss in the cheese and, if you’re patient, put the salad in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to marinade a bit. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve garnished with toasted almonds.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 10 servings
Per serving: 195 Calories | 15.3 grams Fat | 8.7 grams Carbohydrates | 8.1 grams Protein | 3.3 grams Fiber