The chill in the air has had me craving warm comfort foods and oh, how I have indulged. Rosemary potatoes and sauerkraut smothered in mustard, cornbread, cheese, crackers, wine, pierogies, gluten-free raspberry muffins slathered in butter, veggie burgers with french fries, tomato soup, and apple butternut crisp have all found their way in to my kitchen and my belly lately.
As good as it’s been (YOLO), I could feel that it was time to reintroduce some greens in to my life so I bought some brussels sprouts and Lacinato kale. With the two, I crafted this salad that not only cures the craving for comfort foods but offers a burst of healthy, raw, organic greens.
I began this salad by combining shredded (finely chopped) kale and brussels sprouts which are softened with a creamy avocado dressing. Contrasting color is added with chopped carrots and cherry peppers, then I topped the salad with comfort: shredded parmesan and homemade garlicky croutons.
I don’t typically use veggies out of a jar but I did for this salad. Cherry peppers are not in season the same time of year as brussels sprouts, which makes it practically impossible to combine the two ingredients together unless using a preserved pepper. The preserved pepper is perfect for this salad, the slight pickling softens them and adds a subtle layer of sweetness. Plus, the pickling juices can be used in the dressing.
- 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, ends trimmed and chopped to a fine shred
- ¾ cup finely chopped or shredded carrots
- 5 canned or pickled cherry peppers, finely chopped
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 ripe avocado
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. cherry pepper juice
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopper
- 1 cup cubed baguette bread crumbs
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cracked black pepper
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small sauce pan, combine 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. butter, and the chopped garlic. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted. Stir to combine then set aside and let the flavors infuse while you chop your bread.
- Cube the baguette bread, then put them in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with the seasoned olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss until the bread cubes are evenly saturated.
- Spread the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown.
- While the croutons are baking, make the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients, stir until the dressing is a smooth consistency. It's ok if the dressing is thick.
- Toss your salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Toss the salad with the dressing and top with croutons just before serving.