Lisa Spencer

What the Kale? Salad

by Lisa Spencer |



Ok Friends, this year all I had to do was bring a salad to Thanksgiving at my fabulous Sister and Brother in law's gorgeous and festive place on Lummi Island. I wasn't feeling excited about any of my old standbys, but I recalled a great salad one of my foodie best pals showed up with at a recent party.  I decided it would be PERFECT, but it needed a few adjustments to make it holiday worthy for my beloved famdamily.  

Well, what can I say? It was a HIT.  And I blush as the health coach ME loves when I can get people eating and DIGGING RAW KALE AND BRUSSEL SPROUTS???? Come ON, THAT is a uber-cool thing.

It was a particularly unusual type of HIT because a few of the family members who were raving about it said things like:

I WANT this recipe, and normally I think kale really sucks and brussel sprouts stink.  

So if this is YOU try it.  

And if this not you, try it.

 It's fantastic.  It's a sneakily delicious  non-sucky, non-stinky way to get your clan to eat and love some of the healthiest, cancer fighting, cruciferous veggies on earth.  Trust me. 

Here you go!


Stuff You'll need:

  • 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 (I did all this in my Cuisenart on the slicer blade.)
  • 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded in a Cuisenart (see above)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup almonds pre sliced or whole and chopped
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese (get the good stuff, not pre-grated)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

How to make it:

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.

All-right People, I DID the whole freakin' salad pretty much in my Cuisenart because I quadrupled the recipe and I didn't have much time.  Don't tell Martha S, she can be so snippy about cutting corners.  Use the slice thingy attachment, and it will all be grand. 

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 I used a Cuisenart here because I like to quickly emulsify the dressing. Don't mix too long this way or dressing will get bitter.  Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.


Add dressing and cheese, almonds and cranberries to kale mixture; toss well to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.  

Hostess with the Mostess TIP: 


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.