Sunday, January 8, 2012

Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

It's the new year, which means that everyone could probably use some detoxing to reset and recover from the holidays, which have inevitably wreaked havoc on our bodies. I'm in Week 2 of my DIY Clean Program cleanse, so I have been stocking up on great recipes for whole, healthy eating, such as this one, and will be posting a collection soon for anyone in need of some detox recipe inspiration. But, for now, let me rave about one of my favorite recipe finds so far— a leafy green salad topped with roasted almonds, Parmesan and a tangy vinaigrette.

Whether you're cleansing, dieting or simply making an effort to eat healthier, this recipe provides a tasty way to stay on track. Packed with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber and low in cholesterol, fat and sodium, it's a veritable nutritional powerhouse.

Now I know the idea of a dish made up of raw vegetables doesn't sound very appealing, let's face it— it's never going to make your mouth water, but I promise this salad will surprise you. In fact, with all of its bright flavors, freshness and crunch, it may just win you over. It's a simple recipe, but its simplicity works because it's crazy delicious. I never would have thought to pair kale with brussels sprouts, but in this case, they go well together. Add in some almonds, cheese and Dijon vinaigrette and, voila, you've got a tasty dish with the perfect combination of refreshing tang and bitterness. 

The recipe requires a good deal of prep work in the form of slicing and dicing the kale and brussels sprouts, but that's about all there is to it, which makes it a great side dish to throw together for a dinner party if you're going to be pressed for time close to the event. If you want to make this a meal and are looking for something a little more filling, try topping it off with some grilled chicken or salmon. Conversely, if you want a vegan option, simply omit the cheese.

Bon appetit!

Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad
Serves 4-6

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 3/4 pound total)
12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
7 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard,shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld.

To prepare the kale remove and discard the center stem and thinly slice the leaves. Set aside in a large bowl. Finely grate or shred brussels sprouts and mix with the thinly sliced kale.

Slowly pour olive oil into lemon juice mixture, stirring or whisking as you pour. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture, toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.

Source: adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2010

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