Packed with hearty greens, honey-roasted almonds, nutty parmesan cheese and an easy vinaigrette, this Everyday Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad is the kind of salad you can throw together with virtually no effort at all. And bonus? It pairs well with EVERYTHING.
I’m a salad person, and try to put a decent salad together almost every night, no matter what we’re eating. It’s an easy way to get my greens and veggies in for the day, while also ensuring I don’t fill myself up entirely on Creamy Tomato Pasta or Broccoli Cheddar Soup Mac and Cheese.
Previously our salads consisted of whatever scraps I could find in the fridge thrown together with leafy greens and a quick homemade vinaigrette, but lately our salads have looked a lot like today’s Kale and Brussels sprout mix.
I’ve always loved a good salad, but I fell especially in love with this particular one after both my best friend Jamie and my Sister-in-Law Ryan served me a super simple kale salad a few years ago. Jamie’s version came from this epicurious recipe, and over time, I’ve combined the two and tailored the hybrid to include more or less items, and think I’ve settled on this version as a favorite.
Unlike a lot of my other salads that are packed to the brim with add-ins, this one is pretty simple. Aside from the ingredients in the dressing, there’s very little to purchase. Hearty kale, shaved Brussels sprouts, Parmigiano Reggiano (a must!), and slivered honey-roasted almonds are all you really need, and while it doesn’t seem like much, it’s the perfect combination and satisfies me every time.
You could substitute a less expensive version of parmesan cheese for the parmigiano reggiano, BUT the real parmigiano reggiano has this nutty bite that really packs a punch you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
I absolutely love that you can kind of tailor the salad to suit your needs. My SIL doesn’t typically put Brussels sprouts in her version, so if I only have kale on hand, I’ll skip it. Jamie’s version has pistachios, so if I have those, I’ll throw them in as well. Walnuts, chopped pecans, and sunflower seeds are also great alternatives. And sometimes I’ll toss in a handful of dried cranberries – I think you get the drift, the possibilities are kind of endless.
The dressing, while also very simple, requires a few more ingredients, but for me, it’s all items I have on hand. Red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, light mayo and a little bit of salt and pepper are whisked together in the bottom of a bowl, and then all of the other salad ingredients are thrown on top.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, I serve this as a side salad, but every once in a while I’ll also throw it together for lunch and top it with a fried egg. It’s hearty enough to fill me up until my requisite snack after Teddy’s nap, but also light enough to where I feel like I just may be shedding a bit of baby weight after all.
Also, if you’re so inclined, I’d recommend whipping up a batch of these homemade croutons to throw on top right after tossing the greens and dressing.
I’ve also found that this makes the perfect portable salad (Jamie brought it over after I had Teddy). Because the green are super sturdy, they hold up well to transportation. All I do is mix the dressing together in the bottom of a to-go container, then pile all the ingredients on top. The only thing the recipient has to do before digging in, is give the container a good shake to disperse the dressing evenly.
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp light mayo
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- 1/4 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
- black pepper for seasoning
- 4 cups roughly chopped packed kale, chopped finely
- 1 cup shaved brussels sprouts
- 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup honey-roasted slivered almonds I use Trader Joe's
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
- Homemade croutons (optional) See link for recipe below
- Salad bowl
- In the bottom of a medium-sized salad bowl, add red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mayo, mustard, garlic and salt. Whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add kale, Brussels sprouts, cheese, almonds and cranberries to the bowl. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with homemade croutons if using.