Have you gotten on the “kale” bandwagon?
It is not just the ornamental, thick frilly leaves you see dividing the foods in the refrigerated sections in the grocery cases.
There are new varieties, sizes and green mixes that are popular now. Raw kale in salads is all the rage. Personally, I like the “baby” varieties of most greens, like baby kale, baby arugula and spinach. Those are generally milder, and I just prefer the way they look on the plate. The regular kale can be used equally well, but the tough center stalk should be removed before the leaves are chopped
Like most greens, these power-packed vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked. Cook kale as you would cook spinach. It’s a member of the cabbage family, and maybe that’s why I like this kale salad mixed with Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts also are in the cabbage family.
I was introduced to shaved Brussels sprouts in a salad a year or so ago. Shaving the Brussels sprouts is no problem if you have a mandolin and you set it on a fine slice.
If you use the guard, you can usually shave two or three at a time.
If you’re adept with a knife, stick a fork into the root end to help hold the sprout, and carefully slice it into fine slices. The fine shreds are delicious in salads. I think you can even buy them already shredded in some specialty stores.
In this recipe for Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad, Naz Butcher, of Mandeville, tosses kale, Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, avocado, nuts and feta with a hearty balsamic dressing. She serves this as a side salad and sometimes adds grilled chicken to it for an entrée salad.
In the photograph, you will not see many shreds of Brussels sprouts because I used the chopping blade of my food processor and chopped the sprouts rather than shred them to see how that would do.
Well, I learned the flavor is still the same, but by the time you get them chopped, it’s a fine chop. So use the slicing blade of a processor or use a mandolin for fine shreds.
Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at email@example.com.