From Brussels Sprout Hater to Convert: Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

I had never heard of brussels sprout, which look like golfball-sized green cabbages, until a couple years ago when hubby spotted them at the market and excitedly threw a bag of them into our shopping cart. To cook, he peels off the outer leaves, cuts the remaining sprout in half, and steams them. YUCK! I could never get past the bitter taste and have refused to cook with them.

So when I saw my sister-in-law preparing them as part of a salad for Christmas dinner, you can imagine my reaction, which I politely kept to myself. However, since they were thinly sliced, combined with kale (which I do like), sprinkled with nuts and cheese, and slathered in a mustard vinaigrette, I braved it.

Surprisingly, I filled my plate with a heaping second helping. And then a third! Yep, it tasted that good!! So healthy, too, with the raw greens. Greens full of nutrients for the body.

I now like brussels sprout!!! I’m officially a convert.

I even roasted them in a side dish the other night and actually enjoyed them that way, too.

I strongly urge you to make this salad. Open yourself up to something new (you see, both kale and brussels sprouts are fairly new additions to my palate) and something with an incredibly high health factor.

(And yes, it is spelled “brussels sprout” rather than brussel sprouts”)

Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

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  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher slat plus more for seasoning
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (that’s the curly-edged version), about 1 1/2 lbs.
  • 12 ounces brussel sprouts
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped


  1. Dressing: Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Oil will be added later.
  2. To prepare kale, rinse and pat dry. Remove center stems. To quickly slice leaves, stack and roll a bunch together, then thinly slice. Spend two minutes massaging leaves between hands to soften them up, which takes away some of the bitterness (strangely, this actually works).
  3. To prepare brussels sprout, remove outer layers of leaves, trim off stem, then thinly slice each sprout. Or, use the grater plate on your food processor (not the shredder plate). Add to kale; toss to combine.

Note: Rather than use the massage trick, my sister-in-law mixed the kale and sprouts together, then tossed them in a wok at high heat for about 20 seconds to reduce the bitter sting of the greens, then chilled it in fridge for a few minutes.

  1. Measure 1/2 cup olive oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tbsp. oil from cup and place into a small skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Add chopped almonds to skillet; stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.
  2. Slowly whisk remaining olive oil into lemon-juice mixture (I hold the top part of the whisk between the palms of my hands and slide my palms slowly back and forth to mix the vinaigrette, a method I read about in one of my cookbooks; it works to keep oil from separating from rest of mixture).
  3. Add dressing to kale and sprout mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Add cheese; mix.
  5. Garnish with almonds.

Serves 8-10 people.

Do Ahead Tips:

Dressing, kale/sprout mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover greens and dressing separately and chill. Keep almonds in airtight container and let stand at room temperature. 

SOURCE: adapted from (also in the November Bon Appetit magazine)

2 thoughts on “From Brussels Sprout Hater to Convert: Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

  1. Pingback: Roasted Brussels Sprouts (and the book Food Matters) | Scrumptious and Sumptuous

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