In the past few weeks, I have become addicted to eating kale salads almost every day for lunch. I often add another green into the mix along with whatever other fresh vegetables I have in the refrigerator. I recently had some leftover Brussels sprouts that I shaved and added to kale for extra crunch. I also included cooked barley, diced pears, chopped walnuts, and pomegranate arils. The cooked grain adds heartiness and nutrition to the salad, the pears add sweetness, and the nuts and arils add extra texture. You could use quinoa, millet, or farro in place of the barley if you prefer, and apples instead of the pears.
In Italy, the only true kale variety I’ve found is called Tuscan black cabbage, (cavolo nero), also known here as Tuscan Kale, Laciniato or dinosaur kale. In reality, kale is indeed a form of cabbage, belonging to the Brassica family (along with broccoli and brussel sprouts), but kale leaves in comparison to cabbage, does not form a head.Kale has thick, ruffled, usually dark green leaves that have an earthy cabbage flavor. Kale is generally grown through the fall and winter as it is one of the few vegetables that can withstand frost.
I always say that for a salad to be great in my mind, it has to have color, crunch, and lots of flavor and these qualities can certainly be found in this salad. This salad is hearty enough to be the main course, but would also be wonderful as a starter for fall entertaining. If you left out the barley, this salad would be a perfect starter for a Thanksgiving menu. Because the kale and sprouts are reasonably strong in flavor, I made a zesty dressing with Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. If you find the kale a little difficult to chew, massage it with your fingers for a couple of minutes to soften it before mixing it with the other ingredients.
Other Kale Salads:
Deborah Mele Revised 2021
- 1 Pound Brussels Sprouts, Thinly Sliced
- 1 Bunch Tuscan Kale, Stems Removed, & Coarsely Chopped
- 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Barley (See Notes Above)
- 2 Pears, Peeled, Cored & Diced
- 1 Cup Lightly Toasted Walnuts, Chopped
- 3/4 Cup Pomegranate Arils
- 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl and lightly toss together.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix.
- Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 656Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 40gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 12gSugar: 21gProtein: 10g