The Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad at Blue Door Farm Stand in Chicago has a cult following. It’s so good that I had to learn to make it at home.
This Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad is made with shaved brussels sprouts, chopped kale, bacon, parmesan, toasted almonds, and a maple tahini dressing.
It’s one of those meals that is just perfect. I’ve had it dozens of times, and I still look forward to having it. It’s so popular that other Chicago restaurants have added similar salads to their menus.
I love love love this salad, but there are two problems. The first is that the salad is $15, and if I have it delivered the total cost goes up to $21. It’s just too much to be spending on lunch on a regular basis.
The other problem is that the combination of brussels sprouts and kale is tough on my tummy. For this reason, I added gem lettuce to the mix. This is optional, but I think it makes the meal easier to digest. The base of my salad was about half gem lettuce and the other half was kale and brussels sprouts.
I also added dried cranberries just to add another component and my own twist to this recipe. I think that dried cranberries and kale belong together, plus dried cranberries are a good source of fiber and antioxidants bringing more nutritional value to the meal.
The Maple Tahini Salad Dressing takes just 5 minutes to make and it is probably something that you can’t find sold by the bottle at the grocery store. This dressing is the perfect complement to this salad. It’s slightly sweet flavor balances the mild bitterness of the kale and the brussels sprouts. This salad wouldn’t be the same with another dressing; resist the urge to save a few minutes by using a store-bought dressing.
You can often find bags of shaved brussels sprouts at the grocery store along with the packages of salad and lettuce. I prefer to buy brussels sprouts and to thinly slice them, since often the bags of shaved brussels sprouts don’t look too fresh.
If you want to try another one of my favorite Chicago salads – make my version of The Allis Chopped Salad.
Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad Recipe:
- 4 slices of Bacon
- 3 cups of chopped Gem Lettuce
- 1 1/2 cups chopped Kale
- 1 1/2 cups shaved Brussels Sprouts
- 1/2 cup Parmesan (I used a mix of finely grated and shaved)
- 1/4 cup Slivered Almonds
- 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
- Maple Tahini Salad Dressing
First, cook the bacon. I like to do this in the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil for easy clean up, and arrange the slices of bacon in a single layer. Cook in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until the bacon reaches your desired level of crispness. Once cooked, place on a paper towel and blot away any excess grease.
Place the almonds on a baking sheet and let them toast in the oven alongside the bacon. Keep a close eye on the almonds, they will be toasted in just a minute or two. Once toasted remove them from the baking sheet - leaving them on the baking sheet puts them at risk for burning. Adding them to the salad right away could cause the lettuce to wilt, so pour them into a bowl to cool.
Next, prepare the dressing and mix the lettuce, kale, brussels sprouts, parmesan, and cranberries together in a large bowl.
Once the bacon and almonds have cooled, lightly chop the bacon and pour the bacon and almonds on top of the salad.
Dress with the maple tahini dressing and serve right away.
You can adjust the ratio of lettuce, kale, and brussels sprouts to your liking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 22mg Sodium: 556mg Carbohydrates: 21g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 10g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 12g