Brassica in Pocket

I know. It’s been awhile.

So, I gotta come back with a bad pun, right?

Yep. That’s the rule.

But I did, in fact, tuck this bright and hearty and crunchy tossing of greens, Brussels, toasted almonds, and maple-tahini dressing into a pita pocket for lunch a couple weeks ago.


And I served it under a handful of diced, grilled chicken thighs for dinner the following week.


And just the other night, it filled the big-green slot in a much-needed comfort meal, alongside pork tenderloin and linguine with lemons and mushrooms.


We all had seconds of the salad. At least one of us had thirds.

It’s early yet, but I’m confident this is going to become one of 2017’s go-to recipes for us—you know, the kind you keep right there in your back pocket.

Shaved Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

At the midpoint between a chopped salad and a slaw, this addictive bowl of raw was inspired by the Brussels & Kale Salad at Art Smith’s Blue Door Kitchen in Chicago. When Brussels go out of season, I’ll sub in finely chopped broccoli—or maybe even grated kohlrabi. To keep it vegetarian, leave out the bacon, and to fit a vegan lifestyle, leave out the cheese. Don’t leave out the almonds, though; you’ll miss the toasty crunch. Consider adding a bit of fruit, too. I especially liked dried cherries. 

for the salad
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, destemmed (if necessary), and cut into fine ribbons
  • 12-15 Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, and cut into fine ribbons
  • 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1/3 shaved parmesan
  • 2-3 strips crisp, thick-cut bacon, crumbled (optional)
for the dressing
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • juice of a medium lemon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/3-1/2 cup warmish water
  • salt, to taste

Toast the almonds in small skillet over medium heat, until just golden brown at the edges. Spread them on a plate to cool while you make the dressing.


In a small bowl with high sides (actually, a Mason jar is perfect), combine the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, maple syrup, and vinegar. Stir like crazy. It’ll be a stiff paste  at this point, but that’s okay.


Add the water a bit at a time and stir (or shake) until you get a pourable-but-still-substantial liquid—not as thick as pancake batter, not as thin as heavy cream. Stir in the cayenne, parsley, and salt. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Toss the shredded kale and Brussels sprouts with the bacon bits (if using) in a large bowl. Add enough of the dressing to fully coat the greens (refrigerate any leftover dressing and use on carrots, beets, or whatever over the next week).

Add the cheese and almonds just before serving.




6 Comments Add yours

  1. Sara Bernstein says:

    Nice to see your blog once again! Spring must be just around the corner! Sara

    1. Susan says:

      Thanks, Sara! Good to be back!

  2. Joan Crawshaw says:

    Learned a new word and a new recipe! Delicious with dried cranberries too (direct from the Northwoods of Wisconsin) Thanks Susan!
    — Joan

    1. Susan says:

      Thank YOU for the inspiration!

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