In the Kitchen - Warm kale & brussels sprout salad
Whether you have a backyard garden, get a weekly CSA box, or shop at a local farmer's market, cooking with seasonal ingredients is a great way to ensure that your produce is fresh and that your meals will taste delicious. Plus, local produce that hasn't been flash-frozen and shipped across the country (or world) is likely to stay fresher longer, which is a major bonus on those evenings when you get home with your bags of acorn squash and cauliflower and realize that you're too tired to make anything more complicated than a frozen pizza.
This warm kale and brussels sprout salad evolved from a recipe for a raw salad I found as a way to use up kale left over from a tasty (and vegan, if that's your thing) curry I made over the weekend and the remaining brussels sprouts from one of those giant stalks I bought. But, as I sliced my kale and sprouts to the sounds of pouring rain and freezing wind howling outside my window, I realized that a cold, raw salad was not at all what I wanted to eat on a chilly night. So, I tossed the veggies in a little olive oil, threw the mix in a pan, and sautéed it with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Mix in some roasted pepitas, crispy turkey bacon, and parmesan, and you have the perfect one-pot (or pan, rather) autumn meal. This recipe could be easily doubled, or tripled, if you wanted to make it as a side dish for a dinner party or potluck. It's quick and simple, has amazing depth of flavor, and doesn't require an hour of clean-up. Which in my book makes it a win-win-win.
Warm Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad
- 3 cups lacinato kale, sliced into thin ribbons
- 2 cups brussels sprouts, sliced lengthwise into ribbons
- 3 slices turkey bacon
- 1/4 cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 - 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
Place three strips of bacon (I used turkey bacon but you can use any kind) in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook according to package instructions, until bacon has reached desired crispiness, and place on a paper towel to cool. If you're using a fattier bacon that produces a lot of grease, drain off most of the grease before you add the greens to your pan.
Next, toss the sliced kale and brussels sprouts with a drizzle of olive oil and add to the hot pan you used to cook the bacon. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and cook over medium-high for a few minutes to allow the kale and brussels sprouts to get a bit crispy at the edges. Turn the heat down to medium and sauté for a few more minutes, stirring frequently, until the greens are soft and wilted but still retain a bit of crunch (basically you just don't want them soggy).
Transfer sautéed greens to a serving bowl and mix in the pepitas and parmesan. Chop the cooled bacon into pieces and add to bowl. Toss everything together and taste before adding salt and pepper as the saltiness of the bacon, cheese, and pepitas may be enough seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.