I am so addicted to this shredded Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad. It’s quick to make, and packed with nutrient dense super greens. Tossed with a tangy, crunchy hazelnut vinaigrette and sharp bleu cheese, you’ll find endless uses for this low carb kale salad. Add grilled chicken for an easy dinner, or serve as a side dish. No matter how you serve it, you’ll be a leafy green believer after a single bite.
Kale haters, raise your hands. I see you over there – and you too, hiding in the corner. Step forth and embrace the most love-hated leafy green in the produce aisle – this one’s made just for you!
If you think you don’t/can’t/won’t love kale, this salad is a game changer. Ribbons of kale and tender brussels sprouts are tossed with a hazelnut vinaigrette and crumbles of tangy blue cheese. Each bite is bright and fresh, sharp and salty – this is a super food salad you’ll love to crave.
How to make this kale and brussels sprouts salad
Kale is good. Brussels sprouts are great. And when you combine them with creamy, sharp blue cheese and an irresistible toasted hazelnut vinaigrette? It’s legit salad heaven. Kale and brussels sprouts salad will convert you into a green believer, no matter where you stand on the love/hate kale spectrum.
- Thinly slice the kale. Remove the woody stems before slicing into ribbons. To do so, lay the kale flat on your cutting board, and then run the tip of a sharp knife along each edge of the stem to release it. Stack three or four stemmed leaves on top of one another, then slice crosswise into ¼″ ribbons. This is a great video tutorial on how to remove kale stems.
- Shred the brussels sprouts. Trim the end of each sprout, then peel away any bruised or discolored leaves. Slice each brussels sprout in half, then place cut side down on your cutting board. Starting at the tip, slice each sprout crosswise into ¼″ ribbons to create shreds.
- Toss the kale and brussels sprouts together in a large bowl, then sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese.
- Toast the hazelnuts. Heat a small saute pan over medium high heat, then add the hazelnuts, skins and all. The heat will temper the bitter skins into sweet and toasty tastiness.
- Dry roast the hazelnuts for a few minutes until the skins start to crack and the hazelnuts are super fragrant. Keep the pan moving to ensure you toast all sides and don’t burn the nuts.
- Set aside until cool to the touch, then chop.
- Combine the chopped hazelnuts with minced garlic, minced shallot, champagne vinegar, and honey, then whisk in extra virgin olive oil until its emulsified.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the kale and brussels sprout salad liberally, then toss to combine.
My best tips and tricks for making this salad
- Use lacinato kale, which is sweeter than curly kale, and definitely less bitter. If you can get your hands on farm fresh kale, you should. It’s so crisp and tender, with a vibrant blue-green hue.
- You don’t need to massage the kale if using the lacinato variety, since it’s milder to start, but you can let it marinate for 30 minutes or so to help the fibers break down.
- If you can’t find lacinto (aka tuscan kale, the “flatter” kind) use curly kale. If using curly kale, it’s a good idea to massage it first. To do so, thinly slice the kale then sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Massage by gently squeezing the kale between your fingertips until the color deepens and the greens feel softer to the touch. This only takes a few minutes.
- If your cheese is too soft to crumble into small pieces, dice it into 1″ cubes and place it into the freezer for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the greens or the dressing. It’ll crumble super easily once it’s chilled.
- Chopping hazelnuts is…tricky. They’re tiny and round, so they scatter. So I don’t chop, I crush, and you can too. Place the cooled, toasted hazelnuts into a resealable gallon sized freezer bag, then press most of the air out and seal. Lay the bag on a cutting board and give it a little shake so the hazelnuts settle into a single layer. Using a rolling pin, gently whack the bag (yes, I realize that’s an oxymoron) until the hazelnuts are “chopped” into bits.
More super green salad recipes
- Crunchy Kale Slaw (or Salad)
- Citrus Kale Salad with Avocado and Jicama
- Kale Chicken Salad with Apples and Potatoes
- Kale Pomegranate Salad with Apple, Fennel, and Pepitas
Did you make kale and brussels sprouts salad? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below
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Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Hazelnut VinaigrettePrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 8" skillet
- Resealable gallon bag
- Rolling Pin
Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad Base
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, thinly sliced into ¼" ribbons; see notes
- 8 oz brussels sprouts, shredded into ¼" ribbons
- 2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
- Heat an 8" skillet over medium high heat. Add the hazelnuts and toast until the skins start to crack and the nuts are golden brown and fragrant, 4-5 minutes Remove from heat and transfer to a cutting board or bowl to stop the cooking process. Allow to cool while you prepare the salad base.
- Prepare the kale. Lay a piece of kale flat on the cutting board. Run the tip of a sharp knife along each edge of the stem to release it. Repeat with the remaining leaves. Stack 3-4 slices of kale leaves on top of one another, then slice crosswise into ¼" ribbons. Repeat until all of the kale has been thinly sliced. Place the shredded kale into a large salad bowl.
- Trim the ends of the brussels sprouts and remove any bruised or yellowing outer leaves. Slice each brussels sprout in half. Lay the sprouts cut side down, then slice widthwise to create shreds. Start with the top of the sprout, as the root end will keep the leaves intact while you slice. Add the shredded brussels sprouts to the kale.
- Crumble the blue cheese into tiny pieces and add to the salad bowl. Toss the kale, brussels sprouts, and blue cheese until uniformly mixed.
- Place the cooled hazelnuts into a gallon sized ziplock bag. Place the bag on a cutting board, then shake to distribute the nuts into an even layer. Using a rolling pin, whack the bag (not *too* hard) until the nuts are crushed into small pieces. Place the crushed hazelnuts into a bowl.
- Add the champagne vinegar, honey, salt, and a pepper to the bowl and whisk. Pour in the extra virgin olive oil in a steady stream with one hand while whisking with the other. Continue whisking vigorously until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
- Pour half the vinaigrette over the salad and toss. Taste for seasoning, and add additional salt and pepper if needed, or additional vinaigrette if the salad seems dry. The salad can be served immediately, or set aside to further marinate.
- Salad Storage: this salad will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Vinaigrette Storage: store leftover vinaigrette in a lidded jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.
- If you can't find lacinto use curly kale. If making this substitution, it's a good idea to massage it first, since curly kale can be more bitter and tough. To do so, thinly slice the kale then sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Massage by gently squeezing the kale between your fingertips until the color deepens and the greens feel softer to the touch. This only takes a few minutes.
- You don't need to massage the kale if using the lacinato variety, since it's milder to start, but you can let it marinate for 30 minutes or so to help the fibers break down.
- If your cheese is too soft to crumble into small pieces, dice it into 1" cubes and place it into the freezer for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the greens or the dressing. It'll crumble easily once firmer.