In the winter, my husband marvels at the winter white landscape that surrounds us whenever we do the commute to Woodstock. He sees the lake covered with untouched snow and slows down to get a better look. I don’t. I see branches bowing heavy with unwanted burden and I look away. All I want to do is go home and make a fire. And eat. The cold crimps my style. I can’t drink my green juices in public because my lips turn blue. It is drunk indoors with a blanket over me. When I get suggestions to put jalapeno or ginger in them to keep the cold at bay, I know this person probably purees their raw soup in a blender for an extra twenty seconds to enjoy it warm. I secretly roll my eyes and think, really? But when it comes to salads, I find the hearty greens like kale and savoy spinach keep me warm because all the chewing turns it into a mini workout and gets my heart pumping. Halfway through my salad, my clothes are coming off because, boy, is it hot! Really? No, but there is a reason why this salad with kale and shredded Brussel sprouts keeps making its way to our dinner table; it is pungent, spicy, garlicky and immensely satisfying, a real winter salad.
Ideally this salad should be eaten with a spouse over a warm fire and a bottle of Pinot Noir but under a blanket is fine too.
You can shred the kale in a food processor and pulse until it is in tiny bite sized pieces. I suggest using the shredding blade of a food processor for the Brussel sprouts. If you are brave enough, use a mandoline; I use a knife.
To keep the recipe vegan, omit the cheese.
SHREDDED KALE & BRUSSEL SPROUT SALAD
1 bunch kale, in bite size pieces
2 cups shredded Brussel sprouts
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cranberries or currants, optional
HORSERADISH MUSTARD DRESSING
1 tbs Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs minced shallot
1 tbs fresh grated horseradish
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shredded raw sheep Pecorino or raw Parmesan Reggiano, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and process in a blender.
Combine the kale and brussel sprouts, almonds and cranberries in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing coating thoroughly. Garnish with cheese, if using.