Kale salads are ubiquitous these days. So are Brussels sprouts recipes. They are still my favorites, so I decided to combine the two and top it with a killer pomegranate dressing that is a beautiful addition to any holiday table, if I do say so myself! I take my salads and my vegetables seriously every day of the week, but especially during the holidays. Because of my vegan status, I am usually asked to bring one or both of these dishes if I am not hosting the soiree. Actually, let’s be honest, with my type A tendencies, I demand, um…I mean offer, to bring these dishes to the party. Since these dishes are typically the mainstays of my meal unless I am the hostess, I want to be assured that they will be done right. I know…control issues!
For me, a salad is much like a symphony. You need the right mix of ingredients to create a masterpiece. I take a lot of pride in hand picking those said ingredients and then, folding them together in the salad bowl. The dressing is the piece de resistance. There is a time and place for bottled dressings, but for the holidays that just won’t do. Still, I don’t want to slave away over my dressing. Light, simple, just a few ingredients. That’s how I dress my salad. My feelings about salads are similar to those for vegetables. They must not be overcooked. Soggy veggies are a drag. Too much salt and oil are equally ruinous to what I believe are the best dishes on the table. Again, I rely on fresh ingredients with just the right amount of seasoning. This salad has all of the above going on.
Dijon Mustard Pomegranate Dressing
I will get to the salad in a minute, (which is delish on its own), but this pomegranate dressing! With just 4 ingredients and no blender necessary, you can add the ingredients directly to your dressing carafe and shake things up to have this dressing ready in under 5 minutes. I wanted to highlight the flavor of the glorious pomegranate in this recipe. I also top the salad with actual pomegranate seeds to enhance the sweet and tart flavor of this distinguished fruit. Instead of straight up pomegranate juice, I am using Trader Joe’s Power of 7 Juice, an organic blend of pomegranate, tart cherry, black mulberry, red grape, carrot, cranberry and blueberry juices. No concentrates or anything else is added – just the juice. I have combined that with either your choice of grapeseed oil or vegetable broth, and added whole grain Dijon mustard and just a touch of maple syrup. Make sure you use the whole grain Dijon mustard. The big mustard seeds look gorgeous in this pomegranate dressing.
- 1/2 cup grape seed oil or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice or blend, such as Trader Joe's Power to the Seven
- 2 TBL whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1 TBL maple syrup
- Combine all ingredients into a mason jar or salad dressing carafe and shake vigorously. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
This salad pays homage to the leafy green and the cruciferous king. I have combined these heavy hitters, which also happen to be two of my favorite vegetables, to create my salad symphony. The key to the Brussels Sprouts is to caramelize the red onion first. That flavor balances the bitterness of the Brussels sprouts perfectly. When you add in the Brussels, take care not to overcook them. They should be bright green when you ready to fold them into the salad, and still full of crunch. As with any kale salad, be sure to massage the leaves with a splash of the dressing before you add in the rest of the ingredients. This will soften the kale.
- 1 head lacinato kale
- 2-3 cups shaved Brussels sprouts
- 1 red onion, cut in half moons
- 1/4 cups sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 batch of Dijon Mustard Pomegranate Dressing
- 1. Place the almonds in a dry saute pan over medium heat. Toast the nuts for about five minutes, tossing often so they do not burn and are toasted on all sides. Set aside.
- 2. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the onion. Cook about 10 minutes until the onions are caramelized. Stir in the Brussels sprouts. Cook another 5 minutes until they have wilted down some, and are bright green with a bite still to them. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- 3. Clean and de-rib the kale leaves. Stack on the leaves on top of each other and roll together into a tight wad. Slice the kale into ribbons and place in a salad bowl. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the dressing onto the kale and massage with your hands until softened.
- 4. Stir in the Brussels Sprouts, pomegranate seeds, and almonds. Toss to combine.
- 5. Drizzle with more dressing, as desired.
My middle daughter and husband rave about this salad. Both are not big adventurers when it comes to vegetables, so I was shocked when my daughter repeatedly asks me to make this for holiday occasions. Anything that gets her to eat her veggies is a winner in my book! I hope you will try this salad, and especially the pomegranate dressing this holiday season and let me know what you think below!