Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate and Avocado
Not gonna lie, it’s been a really shitty week.
I don’t want to bore you with the details of my white girl problems, so I’ll just say that until yesterday, there were two gaping holes in my living room wall due to a TV installation incident last weekend. That unfortunate event led to a parade of men in my apartment for the past four days (which was significantly less fun than it sounds), lots of banging, chemical spraying, and general chaos/mess.
My roommate was in a horrendous mood because he couldn’t watch Sunday night’s Eagles game until Tuesday (he basically boycotted his phone and the internet until then, lest he accidentally find out who won), and I was forced to get uncomfortably creative with my blog photography. I imagine the plumbers were very confused by my frequent trips to the bedroom with sizzling pans, dishware, and camera equipment…
Adding insult to injury, I burnt my hand pretty badly, got caught in a downpour with 15 pounds of groceries, and the bank keeps freezing my credit card for “suspicious activity,” so I’ve spent at least an hour on the phone with City National everyday this week convincing them that I did, in fact, order an overpriced Batman money clip, a random golf club, and several items from ferraristore.com. I’m Christmas shopping, dammit!
I know I said I wouldn’t bore you with my mid-December woes, and then I did. Sorry. (I am a cotton-headed ninny muggins!)
Anyhoo, I imagine that I’m not the only one having a bit of a strugglefest right now. The holidays rock, but they’re also exhausting. Between the shopping, socializing, and year-end work cramming, there’s definitely a little bit of a dark side to the season, and we all need to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves. I know that sounds pretty touchy-feely, but it’s true.
And that, friends, is why I’m currently sitting here with a Bioré pore strip on my nose, listening to old school Celine Dion, and eating leftover Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate and Avocado.
I’m thrilled to inform you that this salad does serious wonders for morale. The massaged kale and sautéed Brussels sprouts combo is a wonderfully hearty salad base, and its earthiness is perfectly complemented by tart-sweet pomegranate arils. There’s a little avocado for creaminess, shaved Parmesan for savory flare, and a lemony, maple-tinged dressing brightens the whole thang up. It’s everything nice on the taste buds (which could probably use a break from cheese and chocolate).
Plus, I know that all the fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins in this powerhouse medley are making me smarter and prettier, which I find soothing.
I like the idea of crushing this salad as a cleansing lunch or light dinner, but it also makes a rather fabulous holiday starter or side dish. The red and green color palette is on point, and its fresh, seasonal flavors pair well with everything from turkey to beef tenderloin. Please try to work it into next week’s menus.
Like most kale situations, this festive salad actually gets more delicious after a day in the fridge, which is great news on two fronts: 1.) Leftovers are bomb. 2.) The salad can be prepped in advance of holiday feasts and served at your leisure. (Just make sure you wait to add the avocado until the last minute. Duh.)
7 Days until Christmassssss.
Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate and Avocado: (Serves 2 very generously as an entrée, 4-6 as a side)
1 bunch lacinato kale, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (About 8-ounces whole sprouts)
1 small shallot, minced
Juice of ½ lemon (About 1½ tablespoons juice)
2 teaspoons good quality maple syrup
Fresh ground pepper
¾ cup pomegranate arils
½ ripe avocado, diced
¼ cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
Preparing your Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate and Avocado:
-Place the sliced kale in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and add a pinch of salt.
-Massage the kale with olive oil (literally rub the kale handfuls of kale between your fingers) for 3-4 minutes until it turns dark greens and feels very tender. Do NOT skip the massage, people. Tough kale is gross kale. Briefly set aside.
-Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the thinly sliced Brussels sprouts and cook for 2-3 minute until bright green and just tender. (Don’t worry if they brown a little bit, that’s a good thing!) Transfer the sprouts to a plate and let cool to room temperature.
-Moving on to the dressing! In a small bowl, combine the shallot, lemon juice, maple syrup, and remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and let stand for 5 minutes.
-Add the cooled Brussels sprouts, pomegranate, and avocado to the bowl with the massaged kale.
-Add the dressing and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate, sprinkle with shaved Parmesan, and serve.
I’m thrilled to be a part of Food Network’s Fall Fest this week. For more inspired holiday sides, check out the blogs below.
Feed Me Phoebe: Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Latkes with Scallions
The Lemon Bowl: Slow Cooker Apple Cranberry Sauce
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Warm Roasted Brussels Sprout Apple Salad with Blue Cheese and Pecans
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Lemon Roasted Fennel with Olives and Breadcrumbs #FallFest
Napa Farmhouse 1885: White Beans, Arugula & Sun Dried Tomatoes
Red or Green: Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup with Chile
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Cheesy Winter Squash Bake
Virtually Homemade: Green Beans with Brown Butter and Almonds
The Cultural Dish: Kartoffelpuffer: German Potato Pancakes
The Mom 100: Baked Squash with Chili and Maple Syrup
Taste with the Eyes: Hanukkah Brisket Tamales with Carrot, Onion, and Jalapeño
FN Dish: 5 Seasonal Sides for Your Holiday Table
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