shredded kale and brussels sprouts salad

Shredded kale and brussels sprout salad

4 February 2014

You don’t have to like kale or brussels sprouts to like this salad – you don’t even have to use kale or brussels sprouts. This one is all about the dressing, a Caesar-like lemon-Pecorino-garlic mix that would even make shredded weeds mighty tasty.

Aside from the killer dressing, I love the shredded greens in this salad. I don’t mind food as an activity – meat on the bone or shells on shrimp – but I don’t like the fuss of using a knife to eat a simple salad.

When I get a recipe from my sister-in-law Michelle, I know it’s going to be good. Since her mom died nearly 15 years ago, Michelle gathers every Sunday night with four sisters, two brothers, spouses and kids for potluck at her dad’s place. It’s dinner for maybe 15 on a slow week to three dozen when everyone’s around. They make and eat a lot of food – one of Michelle’s nephews is now a restaurant chef – and I know that anything that Michelle likes has already been road tested.

This Bon Appetit recipe, developed by former Martha Stewart food editor Susan Spungen, makes a lovely presentation – deep forest green of Tuscan kale with the lighter spring shades of the shredded sprouts, accented with the warm brown of toasted almonds. Michelle and I like to toss in a handful of dried cranberries too.  

The leaves of both kale and brussels sprouts hold up well enough for next-day leftovers, which is great because this recipe makes enough for a party. If you use less sturdy greens, just dress enough for one meal and refrigerate the rest of your dressing for later.

My brussels sprouts would have been a bit less chunky if I’d halved them before slicing thinly. You could use also a food processor or buy bagged pre-shredded Brussels sprouts.

shredded brussels sprouts

A simple dressing, just lemon, Dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. I didn’t have shallots on hand, so I did without.

lemon dressing

Add the dressing to the shredded kale and brussels sprouts and toss to coat leaves evenly.

lemon dijon dressing

A generous helping of grated Pecorino, plus almonds and cranberries.

pecorino almonds cranberries

Mix and serve.

tossed salad

I know some people don’t like leftovers, but I love the convenience of cooking once and having food ready to eat in the fridge. This salad marinates more than it wilts, so it’s perfectly good for next-day snacking.

shredded kale brussels sprouts salad

Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
The killer lemon-Pecorino-garlic dressing in this recipe would even make shredded weeds mighty tasty. You could use any greens, but I like how this sturdy combination holds up well enough for next-day snacking. Adapted from Bon Appetit.


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
  • 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)
  • 12 ounces brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberies


  1. 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.
  2. Slice out the thick center stem of kale stalks and slice leaves thinly. Place shredded kale in large bowl.
  3. Trim ends of brussels sprouts and discard any outer leaves that look tired or wilted. Cut sprouts in half. Lay each half down on cutting board and slice thinly crosswise. Add shredded sprouts to bowl with kale.
  4. 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.
  5. Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with almonds and dried cranberries.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.


  • Making ahead: 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.
  • If you don’t have shallots, you could substitute onion or go without.
  • Parmesan may be used instead of Pecorino, and sliced or slivered almonds instead of chopped.
  • This salad keeps well for next-day leftovers, but regular salad greens will not. If you substitute less-sturdy greens for the kale and/or brussels sprouts, just dress the amount of greens you need and refrigerate remaining dressing.

Here’s the link to a printable version.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle 4 February 2014 at 8:51 pm

Love this salad!❤️I’m definitely making this again very soon!


BK 5 February 2014 at 10:55 am

I read the title to this post and thought yuck until I realized I have eaten this and loved it! Highly recommend the salad, but it might need a new name. Cleopatra salad to compete with Caesar?


Brooke 18 February 2014 at 8:30 pm

I can not get enough of this salad. It is so tasty, healthy,and fulfilling. I served it as a side with your sausage, butternut squash & sage pasta and it was awesome! Thanks as always.


cg 21 February 2014 at 4:14 pm

hi brooke – i’ve been eating it this week again too. so glad you like it! xoxo


Lisa 10 March 2014 at 11:21 am

As I was chopping raw kale and raw brussels sprouts for our 2 year old bday party spread, I thought it was going to the the joke of the party. Who eats kale and brussel sprouts at a party???!! Surprisingly, it was the biggest hit! First thing to disappear and I found myself making another batch of this salad to fill the empty bowl! The dressing is like a magic and everyone LOVED it!!


cg 10 March 2014 at 12:38 pm

awesome, lis! you inspired me to make kale salad for myself for lunch instead of a lazy green smoothie. no brussels sprouts, using red cabbage instead. pretty!


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