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Meatless Monday: Bring on the kale

Ruffage can also taste delicious, like this Brussels sprouts and kale salad with toasted almonds and Parmesan.

By The Garden of Eating / September 3, 2012

Crunchy and also delicious, Brussels sprouts and kale salad with toasted almonds and Parmesan.

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This salad is one of my loves. We met through our mutual friend, Polly, who brought it to a holiday party. I have to admit, though, that it was not love at first sight.
 
 My initial impression was "that there's a whole lotta roughage" but before the first bite had even made it all the way to my tummy, we were as thick as thieves.

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Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmers’ markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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Polly's husband, Wayne, affectionately refers to this salad as "nature's barbed wire" and while I can't deny that you'll fulfill your daily fiber requirements within about three mouthfuls, I assure you that you'll be going back for seconds. And probably thirds. If there's any left at that point, that is.

Although it took me 30 years to learn to like some vegetables (beets), I've always loved Brussels sprouts so I was delighted to find yet another way to prepare these delicious petits choux.

And there's probably not a local foods enthusiast alive who is not happy to find another good way to use up some kale. Am I right or am I right?

The kale I picked from our mini hoop house was not Tuscan but it tasted good, nonetheless. Maybe this salad is even better with the Tuscan variety – feel free to experiment and let me know what you find.

The first step is to make the dressing. You want to give it a chance to let the flavors meld and develop a bit – probably best to make it half or even a full day in advance if you can.

With that in mind, I made a double batch of dressing. I like to make dressing in glass jam jars and love that you can buy these cute, little, red Luminarc lid to make it easy to store things in them.

Once, the dressing is ready, you can get down to business with the rest of the ingredients. I used my handy dandy Kyocera mandolin to shave the Brussels sprouts up nice and thin – as usual, it worked like a charm.

Don't skimp on the nuts, cheese or dressing. They provide important rich, nutty, crunchy complements to all the hearty greens and the acidity and bite of the dressing.

The recipe is lightly adapted from the Bon Appetit original.

Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad with Toasted Almonds & Parmesan
Serves 6-8

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
Sea salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bunch Tuscan kale, center stem discarded, leaves sliced thinly
12 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
1/3 cup almonds with skins, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup grated Pecorino, Parmesan or Romano cheese

Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix the thinly sliced kale and shredded Brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Add the dressing, cheese and almonds to the Brussels sprouts and kale mixture and toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper and serve.

Related post on The Garden of Eating: 14 Unbeatable Kale Recipes

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