When I was a kid, we never had the classic green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup and crunchy onions on top for Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house. No, we had its cousin- broccoli casserole, with cheese crackers crumbled on top. I’m pretty sure it still involved cream of mushroom soup.
That broccoli casserole will always have a special place in my heart, but as a grown-up I look for the green portion of my Thanksgiving plate to be something that makes me feel less guilty about the carb party surrounding it. As I am currently challenging myself to branch out and try different vegetables (i.e., chard and kale), this kale & Brussels sprouts salad seemed like it would be promising, especially since it has cheese. You can always coax me to try something different if there is cheese involved.
Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad (from Bon Appetit November 2011 via Epicurious)
makes 8-10 servings
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely grated (or pressed)
1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded and leaves thinly sliced (note: I just used what the store was selling as “green kale.” It worked fine. Also, the discarded stems make excellent treats for rabbits, if you have any siblings with bunnies.)
12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and finely grated or shredded with a knife (or, this is a perfect excuse to pull out the mandoline! I held onto the stem and sliced them cross-wise, starting at the top.)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided (as in, separate 1 tbsp and reserve the rest)
1/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely grated Pecorino
Whisk together lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
Toss thinly sliced kale and shredded Brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Slowly whisk remaining olive oil into lemon juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. *All of these parts can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and leave at room temperature.
Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds. (Or if some members of your family have nut allergies and/or nut aversions, put nuts in a small bowl to accompany the salad around the dining table. Obsessively watch to make sure they stay with the salad and remind people that they can sprinkle the almonds on the salad, if they would like to do so.)