I am a staunch believer that salad deserves a place of pride on your holiday buffet table. After indulging on stuffing, potatoes, and pies, everyone needs something bright and fresh to balance the richness. Trust me- your stomach will thank you later! This festive Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad is just what the doctor ordered for holiday entertaining. It's a beautiful and delicous digestif!
What I also like about this salad for the holidays, is that most components can be prepped a few days in advance. The kale and sprouts can be shredded ahead, and the dressing can be made up to a week in advance. I know that chopping kale and brussel sprouts is time consuming and annoying, but the pre bagged kind is never as good- stems galore and too thickly cut! Get this task out of the way ahead of time and make it a meditative experience. My favorite way to shred brussel sprouts is in a food processor fitted with the slicer attachment- this is easy, fun and safer than the mandolin! But you can always use the mandolin (using extreme caution) or slice them by hand.
All you need to do when ready to serve is throw your kale in a big salad bowl, give it a quick massage (this makes a difference!), add the remaining prepped ingredients and dress the salad to taste. I also like that this salad will hold its integrity for a while sitting out and doesn't need to be served immediately. The orange maple vinaigrette recipe will make a lot more than you actually need, but enjoy the leftovers on your turkey sandwich the next day! It's delicously creamy and loaded my my favorite holiday flavors.
prep time: 20 min. cook time: 10 min. serves: 8-10
1-16 oz bag brussel sprouts, thinly shredded by hand, with a mandolin, or in a food processor
1 large head lacinato kale, stemmed and thinly shredded
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 granny smith apple, small diced or julienned
3/4 cup grated parmesan, plus extra for garnish
MAPLE ORANGE VINAIGRETTE
1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp dijon
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Juice of a small orange, ~4 tbsp
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the kale in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the tablespoon of olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Use your hands to vigorously scrunch and massage the kale leaves, until they are all glossy and a deeper green. Place the shredded brussel sprouts, pomegranate seeds, almonds, apple and Parmesan on top of the kale and set aside while you make the vinaigrette.
Put all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small blender or food processor (alternately, this can be done in a wide mouth jar or container with an immersion blender). Blend the ingredients until they are smooth and combined- no chunks should remain.
Check for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. You won't need all the dressing so enjoy the leftovers another day!
Drizzle some of rhe vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat- start with less and add more as needed! Once dressed to your liking, check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately or up to 30 minutes after dressing. Enjoy!