For being a vegetarian, it is really hard for me to stomach a salad once the weather starts to turn colder. My natural instinct is to reach for soup or something involving melted cheese. Something about adding insulation for the winter, maybe? In any event, this salad is the exception to the rule. Even my kale-hating husband eats it right up.
The first time I made this, I worked on it with my little brother at our parents’ house in Valley City. It’s a good two-person project because you have (veggie) bacon, veggie chopping, and dressing mixing happening all at once. Our whole family, including Grandma, enjoyed it and it’s in the regular rotation at our parents’ house now too.
Here’s a link to the recipe as I found it on Pinterest: Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad w/ Bacon and Pecorino. My take is featured below.
Crunchy Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
4 slices veggie bacon
1/2 c parmesan pecorino, finely grated*
1/4 roasted/toasted almonds**
2 T lemon juice
1.5 T Dijon mustard
1 T shallot
1 garlic clove
1/4 c EVOO
Dashed S & P
2-3 c thinly sliced kale (1/2 a bunch OR 1/2 lb of chopped and bagged)
1 lb brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
1. Cook up your veggie bacon and almonds.
2. Slice up your kale and brussels sprouts and mix them together in a giant bowl. Or a bowl with a spill-proof lid that you can shake up to mix everything.
3. Combine your veggie bacon with almonds and cheese in a food processor or blender. Pour into the kale and brussels sprouts and mix all that up.
4. You don’t even have to clean the food processor, just add all the ingredients for your dressing. This will actually help make sure you get every delicious bacon/almond/cheese crumb. Pour it all over your salad and mix well. Ready to serve immediately, most easily with tongs.
* You can absolutely sub in nutritional yeast for cheese to make this vegan or just plain old healthier. The salad is so flavorful that you won’t miss the cheese, it mostly just serves to thicken up the dressing and the nutritional yeast will do the same job.
** I have made this salad by roasting almonds in the oven, buying them roasted, or – in this instance, simply toasting them in light oil on the stovetop. Any of these methods worked fine. Just make sure you chop ’em up fine after for most optimal crunching.