This Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with maple vinaigrette, walnuts, and Parmesan is stunning and absolutely delicious. It keeps well in the refrigerator, so it's great for meal prep and entertaining.
Prep Time: 25mins
Cook Time: 8mins
Total Time: 25mins
Servings: 8servings as a side; 4 to 6 as a main
FOR THE SALAD:
1 1/2cupsraw walnut halves - or raw whole almonds
1large or 2 small bunches curly kale - about 1 1/4 pounds stems removed and finely chopped
3/4cupshredded Parmesan cheese
3/4cupdried cherries - or dried cranberries
FOR THE DRESSING:
¼cupextra virgin olive oil
1/3cupfresh lemon juice - about 1 1/2 medium lemons
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts into a single layer on an ungreased, rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until they smell fragrant and toasty and a nut is light tan on the inside when broken in half, tossing once halfway through. Remove to a cutting board. Let cool, then roughly chop.
Meanwhile, place the kale in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt. Massage the kale with your hands by grabbing large handfuls a few at a time and squeezing gently until the kale is darker in color and more fragrant (this step makes the kale more tender and less bitter in taste—don’t skip it!).
Shred the Brussels sprouts: For the fastest possible shredding, cut the bottom end off of the Brussels sprouts, then shred them using a food processor slicing blade like this one. Alternatively, you can carefully slice the Brussels sprouts with a mandoline (if using a mandoline, I recommend holding the stem, slicing from the top, and discarding the bottom stem; be careful and watch your fingers). If you do not have a food processor OR a mandoline, you can use a sharp chef's knife: remove the stems and any wilted outer leaves, then slice the sprouts into very thin ribbons. For all methods: once the Brussels sprouts are sliced, place the shreds in a bowl with the kale, then toss and fluff them with a fork or your fingers.
In a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup, stir together the dressing ingredients: the oil, lemon juice, Dijon, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. (Alternatively, you can shake the dressing together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.)
Dress and assemble the salad: Pour half of the dressing over the salad, then toss to combine (I like to use tongs for this). Sprinkle the Parmesan, cherries, and chopped nuts over the top, then lightly toss again. Drizzle with additional dressing as desired.
TO MAKE AHEAD AND HAVE THE RECIPE TASTE FRESH FOR SERVING: Wash and chop your kale and Brussels sprouts up to 1 day in advance and store them in the refrigerator. Prepare your dressing up to 1 day in advance, storing it separately in the refrigerator. You can also toast the walnuts and shred the Parmesan cheese up to 1 day in advance. Store the walnuts at room temperature, and store the Parmesan in the refrigerator.
TO STORE: When stored in an airtight storage container, shredded Brussels sprouts can last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Kale can sometimes last a full week (wrap the leaves in a paper towel and refrigerate them in a ziptop bag), but once you've mixed the two, you're going to need to base your storage off of the Brussels sprouts.
After the dressing is added to the salad, it can last about 2 days (though I've pushed it for longer and just added more dressing).
If you know you are going to be enjoying the salad over several days, wait to dress individual servings until within a few hours of enjoying them. I also like to make and save extra dressing perk up my leftover salad servings as I go.