Kale and Brussels Sprouts Winter Salad

A beautiful salad featuring winter produce that makes an excellent starter or side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other winter holiday. It’ll get even your pickiest family members to not only eat but also enjoy kale and Brussels sprouts. I promise!

This is my favorite salad recipe, and I make it every holiday season. Even my salad-hating family members (I’m looking at you, mom) devour this salad. There’s a little bit of everything in this salad - crunchy, creamy, tart, and sweet. 

The base of this salad consists of raw kale and raw Brussels sprouts. And I know, you’re probably thinking one of two thoughts:

  • You want me to serve a kale salad at the holiday table? No one will eat it!

  • You want me to serve kale AND Brussels sprouts raw?? Are you crazy?

I get those concerns and doubts, trust me! In fact, my boyfriend voiced them to me the first time I made this salad. Then he tried it and took it back!

First things first, you do need to shred the kale fairly finely and the Brussels sprouts very thinly. I recommend using the slicing attachment of your food processor to easily and quickly slice the Brussels sprouts thinly. If you don’t have one, you can slice them by hand (it just takes more time and upper body work).

And to make these raw veggies delicious, I add some contrasting textures and flavors.

  • Crisp Apples and/or Pears: these provide a sweet and juicy yet crunchy textural addition

  • Dried Cranberries or Cherries: they bring that irresistible chewy bite and sweet-tart flavor.

  • Toasted Hazelnuts or Pecans: toasting the nuts brings that nice nutty and fragrant aroma and depth of flavor

  • Pomegranate Seeds: not essential, but their crunchy yet juicy texture and sweetness plays well with the apples

  • Avocado: creaminess to balance all those raw greens and crunchy textures

  • Cashew Caesar Dressing: the star of this salad is the savory, flavor-packed Caesar dressing. Made with raw cashews, extra virgin olive oil, and just a few other ingredients, it takes 5 minutes to throw together and is ultra creamy and delicious. A generous amount of creamy dressing will make even alleged salad haters fall in love with kale!

That’s all you need to know about this salad, so I’m keeping it short! Hope you enjoy the recipe and make it this holiday season!

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Kale and Brussels Sprouts Winter Salad

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paleo
Serves 6-8 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Brussels sprouts⁣⁣, thick outer leaves removed and shredded

  • 1 head of Tuscan (lacinato) kale, sliced thinly ⁣⁣

  • 3 crisp apples or pears, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts or pecans

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries⁣⁣

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds⁣⁣

  • 1 large ripe avocado, diced

  • Cashew Caesar Dressing (recipe below) ⁣⁣

  • Optional: vegan ricotta cheese for topping

Directions

  1. To shred the Brussels sprouts, use the slicing attachment of your food processor. Alternatively, you can cut the sprouts by hand into very thin slices, or easiest yet, buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts at your grocery store.

  2. Place the sprouts and kale on a serving platter. Arrange the apple slices on top, and add the nuts, cranberries, pomegranate seeds, and avocado. Pour the dressing on top and mix well.

Cashew Caesar Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked*

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil ⁣⁣

  • 1/2 cup water⁣

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder ⁣⁣

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste

  • 1/2 of a large lemon, juiced + more to taste

*Soak the cashews in hot water for at least 2 hours, in boiling water for 1 hour, or in room temperature water overnight.

Directions

  1. Place the soaked cashews and remaining ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend for 2-3 minutes or until the cashews are completely pulverized and the dressing is thick, smooth, and creamy.