A few years ago my sister in law brought a salad to Thanksgiving dinner. Big whoop, right? The salad tends to be the requirement at the table when it comes to an exciting meal like Thanksgiving. But this salad was different. This salad was packed with flavors like crisp citrus notes from the lemony dressing and bright pops of sweetness thanks to a handful of dried cranberries. It didn’t hurt that the base was super healthy thanks to raw brussel sprouts and kale. I think that was the first and only year I’ve ever done seconds and thirds of salad over gravy and potatoes. The recipe has since spread to many of my friends and is a favorite of everyone’s. The best part about this salad is it can stay fresh in the fridge for several days even after dressing, in fact it gets better. A great make ahead grab and go lunch for the week if you want a healthy meal you will look forward to eating.
Kale & Brussel Sprout Salad, recipe adapted from Bon Appetite
I think the dressing is more than you need, add half and check to see how much more you want. I used about 3/4 of the batch.
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped (you can save time by buying already toasted almonds)
1 cup finely grated Pecorino
1/3 cup or 1 small handful of dried cranberries (optional but I add them if eating as a meal by itself, delicious without too)
Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel–lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.
Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.
Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture and toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds and dried cranberries.