Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad with a Lemony Dijon Vinaigrette

I've been eyeing this Shredded Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon Dressing recipe from Just A Taste for awhile now.  But every time we get Brussels sprouts in the Crop Share, I'm completely incapable of not roasting them or turning them into this Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms in a Dijon Cream Sauce dish.  However, this week I vowed to finally make my own version of Just A Taste's salad, and I knew if I was going to get the Mister behind a giant bowl of green for dinner, I was going to have to put some meat in there somewhere, especially since there would also be no carb coming along with it either.  So while the original is completely vegetarian, I tossed in one shredded chicken breast from yet another rotisserie chicken I'm slowly dismembering as the week goes on.  I also didn't go based on her measurements, I just went based on quantities in our shares, so I doubled the dressing recipe as the original measurements were looking pretty slim for the amount of roughage I had going on.  She also had Parmesan or Pecorino cheese in her's, but we didn't miss it and with the almonds you already get that nutty flavor and by adding Kosher salt to the dressing, that checks the salty component box.  So feel free to add cheese if you'd like, just maybe back down on the amount of salt in the dressing or omit it all together.

Not going to lie, this is one of those annoyingly prep intensive dishes, so if you're looking for a quick weeknight dinner salad, this might not be a good option as thinly slicing your way through all that green becomes soul killing unless you've got some good tunes blaring in your kitchen.  However, thanks to this recipe, you will gain two, count them two, gold stars on your culinary skills charts:  Chiffonade & Emulsion.  Yep, we're getting fancy in Nalls' Kitchen tonight!

Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad with a Lemony Dijon Vinaigrette

For salad:

1 quart Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed & shredded
1 bundle Kale, removed from stalk & shredded
1/2 cup sliced, unsalted almonds, toasted
1 chicken breast, cooked & shredded (I dismembered a rotisserie chicken)

For dressing:

1 large shallot, minced
4 Tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp local honey
2 lemons, zest & juice
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil

In a medium-sized skillet, toast almond slices over medium high heat.  No need to add any oil as the natural oils in the almonds will be enough.  Stir fairy continuously to prevent burning.  Once almond are golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.

To shred Brussels sprouts, trim ends, and remove outer few leaves.  Then halve sprouts and thinly slice each half.  For kale, remove from the stalk and roll leaves into bundles and prepare to chiffonade.  Say what?  Yes, get ready to perfect your fancy knife skills -- and no you don't have to be totally accurate with these, you just want to have thin slices of kale for the salad.  Have no idea what I'm on about, then learn how to get  your chiffonade on in this helpful video...

Now toss together your kale, Brussels sprouts, toasted almond and shredded chicken together in a large bowl.   I weeded out any bits of the core of the sprouts  that still remained as chunks.

Grab a medium sized bowel and whip up the dressing.  Combine all ingredients through the salt and lightly whisk to fully combine.  Then slowly pour in olive oil while you whisk vigorously because you're doing another fancy thing, you're making an...emulsion!  Ooo la la!  First you chiffonade then you, well, emulse?  Emulsionize?  No, I've got it, you emulsionate!  Once all your oil is incorporated you should have a dressing that looks very much like a big bowl of whisked egg yolks.  Pour as much or as little over the salad and toss to coat.

Let sit for about 5 minutes to allow flavors to meld and serve.

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