(Not) another kale and brussels sprouts salad
If there was one food trend in recent history that can be called the trend of the century it must be kale. I have already waxed poetic about it before so I won’t make you listen again but that’s my opinion and I am sticking to it. Kale just won’t go away, and it shouldn’t.
Kale salads are now de rigueur on restaurant menus and some are quite appealing. It is a good mixer but requires a sturdy partner because it has a bold flavour and would overwhelm a delicate one. Brussels sprouts are a good match and the internet is flooded with salads combining kale and brussels sprouts. To save you the trouble I looked at many and here are some of the better examples:
Okay, I could go on but that’s enough.
The agriculture industry ( Modern Farmer) is a step ahead of the trend and has already come up with, guess what? a kale and brussels sprout hybrid they call Kalettes (see image below). Kalettes have kale-like leaves on a brussels sprouts-like stalk. Yes, it was conceived in a lab but if I saw one in the store I’d probably get it, out of curiosity if nothing else. Broccolini is another hybrid that has become widely acceptable, just in case you didn’t know.
So I have my version of kale and brussels sprouts salad and I thought I’d throw mine into the mix, why not. In my salad half of the kale and brussels sprouts get a quick warming in a skillet before joining their raw compatriots and tossed together for a slightly warm, slightly wilted salad that gets an additional shower of just-toasted still-warm pine nuts and a few crisp crouton and, if you re lucky, a parmesan tuille. And oh, yes, my salad had a few shitake mushrooms, quickly tossed in a skillet and added to the mix. Did we need one more kale salad on the internet? you be the judge.
1 bunch black kale
about 6 brussels sprouts
8 shitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons ver juice (or red wine vinegar)
Coarse sea salt
8 very thinly slices of baguette (crouton like)
1 cups shredded parmesan for parmesan tuiles
Wash kale, remove tougher stem by slicing alongside it and then cut the kale horizontally into 1″ ribbons.
Remove as many of the outer leaves of the brussels sprouts to use whole and cut the rest into thin slices.
Toss kale and brussels sprouts together in a bowl.
Remove the stems off the shitake mushrooms and slice each into 4-5 pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the mushrooms.
Saute the mushroom briefly until they begin to turn golden.
Remove and keep warm.
If the skillet is dry add just a little olive oil and half of the kale-brsussels sprouts salad mixture.
Toss with tongs for a minute or so and add a splash of the ver juice or vinegar.
As soon as the leaves begin to warm and soften remove from heat and add to the bowl with the uncooked kale.
Add the mushrooms and toss to coat. The uncooked kale will soften from the heat and the salad will have a nice texture, not completely wilted greens.
To make the croutons lightly brush the bread slices with olive oil on both sides and cook in a skillet just until they turn golden.
To make the cheese tuiles place small mounds of grated parmesan on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375F until the cheese melts (it will become lace-like) and golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. The tuiles will harden as they cools.
Use round ring molds. Place each mold in the center of a salad plate, fill it with the salad then pull off the ring. Alternatively just pile some of the salad on each plate.
Garnish with a cheese tuile and a few of the baguette croutons.
Serve with additional salt, pepper and if you’d like, some extra ver juice or vinegar to splash over.