Rewind to 1988 or so. According to my parents I was trying to eat salad before I even had sufficient teeth to chew it.
Fast forward to the early 90s. You know, when I had a full mouth of teeth. We didn’t eat out much, but sometimes when we would road trip as a family, we would eat at Shoney’s (do they still exist? If so, I think I should go to one just for the sake of nostalgia.).
In any case, when we would go to Shoney’s, I nearly always got the salad bar. I would return to our table with a plate full of iceberg lettuce and maybe a couple shreds of romaine that probably made it in there more by accident than intention. There was certainly no spinach in my salad.
And you know what else there wasn’t?
Because, do you know what kale was in the early 90s?
Garnish. It was garnish, people.
It’s what line cooks would put slices of fresh oranges and one strawberry on to make a plate look less bare.
I, for one, am immensely grateful that kale has moved from the side of the plate (and consequently, the busboy bin) to our salad bowls.
I made this salad last year for Thanksgiving, and completely forgot about it until I started planning the Thanksgiving menu for this year. Now I notoriously do not make the same dishes for big holidays twice, ever. But for a Tuesday night, I will happily gobble up (love me some seasonally-appropriate puns) the tangy crunchiness that is this salad.
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- Pepper to taste
- 4 cups shredded kale (remove center vein first)
- 3 cups shredded Brussels sprouts (remove stems and cut in half before shredding)
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- In a large bowl, combine kale and Brussels sprouts. Toast almonds in a shallow pan over medium heat until light brown spots begin to appear. Cool slightly and add to kale and Brussels sprouts. Add parmesan. (If you want to make this ahead of time, stop at this step. An undressed salad will keep for quite a while.)
- Before serving, whisk lemon juice mixture while pouring olive oil in a slow stream. Continue whisking until emulsified. Pour over salad and toss.
This recipe is adapted from the kale and Brussels sprouts salad found on Epicurious.