It appears I’ve gone kale sprout crazy!
I’ve always loved Brussels sprouts–even as a kid. Then, the kale craze happened and I was happy to get right in sync with the whole movement because I have yet to meet a vegetable I don’t like. And dark, green leafy stuff like kale sprouts? Oh yeah!
Kale sprouts (aka “Kalettes”) are a cross between red Russian kale and Brussels sprouts. Until recently, I had only been able to get these little babies at Whole Foods. I twisted the arm of the store and produce managers at the Kroger that I shop at and they agreed to keep these in stock for me. Don’t have to drive as far…so thanks, guys!
Last week an amazing thing happened. I grabbed a couple of bags while shopping at my Kroger to roast as a freebie for one of my clients. I tossed them with some olive oil, salt and black pepper and roasted them to where the outer leaves were super crispy, then set them on top of the stove to cool. Their 10-year-old daughter Isabelle asked to sample them and then kept coming back for more. Love when kids love veggies!
So… About this salad. Shredded kale sprouts, red onion, pickled baby beets, walnuts and goat cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette. Flavors that all rock together! You could go to the trouble of roasting the beets, but I like the extra acidity of the pickled baby beets and it’s so much easier.
To toast the walnuts, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread them out on a baking sheet and when you begin to smell them after about 8-10 minutes, take them out. Burned nuts are the WORST and have to be tossed, so just watch them carefully.
Use a light olive oil or grapeseed oil. An extra-virgin olive oil can taste heavy. After whisking together the balsamic vinaigrette, taste it and see if it needs the honey. A good balsamic vinegar tastes super sweet to me so you may or may not want to use it.
2 (6-ounce) bags kale sprouts, stem end trimmed if necessary
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 (16-ounce) jar pickled baby beets, drained, halved and sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (about 1 cup), divided
1/3 cup light olive oil or grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Shred kale sprouts in a food processor using the shredding blade or chop manually. Transfer to a bowl.
Add red onion, baby beets, walnuts and about 3 ounces of the goat cheese. Toss to combine.
Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over salad, mix well. Transfer to serving bowl and top with remaining goat cheese. Serve immediately.
MAKE AHEAD: Combine kale sprouts, onion, beets and walnuts in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Combine dressing ingredients and refrigerate. Just prior to serving, combine all ingredients per recipe, transfer to serving bowl and add cheese.