Sweet fall kale and Brussels sprouts are delightful in a salad surrounded by colorful autumn vegetables, and topped with a Creamy Lemon Parmesan Dressing.
I raided the kale from my garden today and had lots of it to use. In the fall and winter, the kale is much sweeter than in the summer, and right now it is really flavorful. This is the perfect time for a hearty raw salad of lots of our seasonal vegetables.
A tough vegetable
Kale can be tough, so you do have to spend a little time with it. First, strip the leaves off the stems (these can go in the stock pot). Chop up the leaves and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice and some salt and gently massage the kale for just a minute. You don’t need to get carried away here, just a little rubbing is all that is needed. I did the same with the shredded Brussels sprouts, which can be a bit bitter if just eaten raw and untouched. This simple step tamed them both.
Carrots are sweet, beautiful, and plentiful this time of year, and the watermelon and purple Daikon radishes make their colorful appearances. These can keep in your refrigerator for weeks, and add a zesty pop of flavor whether raw or cooked.
I also added some fresh mint to the salad since my hand touched a little invader when I was picking the kale. It smelled so good! I knew instantly that I would use it in the salad.
To add a sweet/tart pop and different texture, a few dried cranberries tumbled over are just the right thing. And to mellow everything out, a lemon Parmesan dressing hits the right notes.
Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
The measurements for this are totally up to you and what you have. This is just how I made it today. It is perfect as a side dish, or a main course salad with a little protein on top.
1 bunch of kale, stripped from the stems
A few colorful baby carrots, sliced
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 Jalapeño pepper, sliced thin
2 cups shredded or shaved Brussels sprouts
1 large carrot, shredded
2 large watermelon radishes, sliced
1 small Daikon radish, sliced and quartered
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, ripped
Handful of dried cranberries
Creamy Lemon Parmesan Dressing, below
Strip the leaves from the kale plant and chop or shred them up. Place them in a large bowl. Zest the lemon and set the zest aside. Slice it, and drizzle the juice of half over the kale. Sprinkle with a little coarse salt, and gently massage this all into the kale.
Slice the baby carrots, and add to the kale, along with the the scallions and Jalapeño and set aside.
Shred or grate the Brussels sprouts. You can also just slice them with a really sharp knife which is what I ended up doing. Place these in a bowl, and do the same as you did with the kale with the rest of the lemon juice and more salt. Set this aside, too.
Grate the carrot and set aside.
Slice the radishes and set aside.
Now the fun. On a large platter or bowl, make a base of the shredded carrots. Add the kale mixture, and nestle the Brussels sprouts in the center, scattering some among the kale.
Arrange the radishes however you like. Tear the mint leaves over the top, and sprinkle with the dried cranberries.
Serve with the Creamy Lemon Parmesan Dressing below.
Creamy Lemon Parmesan Dressing
This is one of my favorite dressings! You can also use it as a sauce on just about any vegetable, fish or chicken.
In a small food processor, combine:
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
2 cloves garlic
2 ounces chopped Parmesan
1 tsp. honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Process until thick and well blended.
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