Kale and Brussels sprout salad

Kale and Brussels sprout salad / Salade de chou frisé et de choux de Bruxelles

I’ve been making this salad for a few years by now after seeing it on a Bon Appétit site. It never fails to receive compliments, and friends often request that I bring it to dinner parties at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is a bright, crisp, crunchy salad that contrasts well with braised or grilled meats and cooked vegetables. If you do not enjoy the taste of Brussels sprouts, fear not. Raw, young sprouts do not have the same flavor profile as when cooked.

The salad is not the only handmade thing appearing on today’s blog. I made the salad bowl (top left) for my mother 50 years ago – in 7th grade shop class.

I normally use our food processor to make this salad in order to “be quick about it.” However, today, to honor my daughter (again) who constantly advocates for muscle power in the kitchen instead of electricity whenever possible, I use a chef’s knife for this task and so can you.

Meditation on knife over “robot” (French for food processor). The decision to use no power tools has an immediate impact on one’s environment both internal and external. Yes, it will take longer to make the salad. No, this task is not strenuous (like making mayonnaise or whipped cream by hand can be). But more importantly, your world becomes quieter. If you can “let go” of time for a bit and focus on the simple tasks in your hands, you may discover a sense of peacefulness and the pleasure of your handiwork. To this recipe for working in peace, I added one more element – I turned off the kitchen lights and was able to work easily in the sunlight coming through the windows. A poor man would probably get a chuckle out of all this “talk”. After all, he is not in a position to make such decisions. Oh, just to keep it real and simple: 1) I would suggest to not play music while you work. Sing or hum a tune instead, 2) Enjoy renewed attention to your sense of smell too, the garlic, the lemon and the parmesan cheese when you grate it.

INGREDIENTS (All as fresh as possible. No precise quantities given. Watch the video below and judge how you might do this for yourself or your family.)

  • Kale : strip leaves from stem and chop as desired
  • Brussels sprouts: remove stem and chop as desired
  • Garlic: peel and mince
  • Lemon (zest and juice; one or two according to taste)
  • Parmesan cheese: finely shredded but not powdered (avoid buying pre-shredded)
  • Almonds (toasted and roughly chopped; used sliced almonds here since that’s what was in the cupboard)
  • Olive oil: use your judgement on quantity creating the consistency that you like
  • Salt and pepper (freshly ground; to taste)
9 ingrédients – 2 mains – 1 couteau

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