Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Gouda and Hazelnut

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Gouda and Hazelnut

How do people manage a blog with a full time job? I’d love to share a thanksgiving recipe BEFORE the big feast, but between fall destination weddings and post-work thanksgiving prep there’s literally no time to rest, let alone write. Speaking of which, how was everyone’s thanksgiving dinner? Mine was a rowdy Hong Kong-style friendsgiving, with an equally untraditional crown of pork ribs instead of turkey. That one’s a showstopper for sure, and I have no regrets.


Before you get hung up about my #noturkey thanksgiving, I’d like to divert you to one of my favourite cold weather salads. Kale and brussels sprouts are probably the two most overused winter vegetable, but instead of roasting or creaming them in a gratin, this salad brings out their crunch and brightness without cooking them to death. Tuscan kale or dinosaur kale are less common than the curly kale I called for in the recipe, if you can get your hands on them, feel free to sub it out. It has a less bitter taste that I prefer, and a deep nuttiness that goes really well with the hazelnuts.

It’s a great way to add some colour to the table, and something fresh and vibrant to lighten some of the heartier comfort dishes. In fact, the best thing about this salad is there’s no need to dress it right before serving. Kale and brussels sprouts are both sturdy vegetables so it’s actually best to toss them with the dressing around an hour before you serve, making time for the other dishes you need to cook as guests arrive. I know it’s too late for thanksgiving now, but I bet you’ll be convinced to make space on your next holiday meal table for this zippy green goodness.

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Gouda and Hazelnut

Pomegranate molasses is a versatile syrup made with its namesake fruit and is used throughout the Middle East. Traditionally it is made by reducing pomegranate juice into a thickened syrup, with the addition of sugar and/or lemon juice. I love the depth of this musky and tangy condiment, which contrasts the bright fresh pomegranate seeds. Find it at your local middle eastern grocer, or make your own by reducing some pomegranate juice. Alternatively you may substitute with a dark and full-bodied honey such as buckwheat or chestnut.

For the dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parsley (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:
~5 large stalks (1 pound) curly kale, thinly sliced
3 cups (3/4 pound) brussels sprouts, shaved
6 radishes, halved, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely grated aged gouda
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 pomegranate, seeded

To garnish
grated gouda, hazelnut, pomegranate and parsley

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake until emulsified.

  2. Sprinkle and massage kale with a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl.

  3. Toss in the shaved brussels sprouts, radish gouda, hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds.

  4. Mix in the the dressing and toss to coat. Allow the flavours to meld together for around an hour before serving. Garnish with extra gouda, hazelnut, pomegranate seeds and parsley.

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