This was our holiday salad… a crisp, crunchy, vibrant fresh mix of apples, shaved brussel sprouts and thinly sliced kale dotted with sweet, candied pecans and dried cranberries, all tossed with a light, lemon-honey-cider vinaigrette. Though most any Stemilt apple variety will do, I’m particularly partial to the Honeycrisp apple in this mix… a lovely, crisp, sweet variety with a flavor reminiscent of apple cider.
While this salad is certainly not just a holiday salad (it’s a great fall-winter option given our abundance of delicious apples and beautiful, fresh brussel sprouts), the true significance of being this year’s winner as our holiday salad lies in the fact that we had to get a change approved! For a family that loves its traditions when it comes to the Thanksgiving meal, the tried, true and beloved dishes we serve get repeated with little question from one year to the next. Change is rarely in the mix. This salad, however, is one that I’ve been making over and over for the past several months… and I’m just a little more than obsessed with it.
When I broached the subject of switching out the traditional salad we’ve served for more years than I can remember… one that also features fresh apple… I was met with a lot of “you’d better check with so-and-so.” And so… with all the “so-and-sos” sampled and in approval (grudgingly in some instances), the change was made.
And… quite honestly… I believe this is the salad that will now make our annual tradition for years to come. Not only does it offer a great, fresh, crisp counterpoint in texture to most any meat-potato meal, it’s wonderful on its very own. And Stemilt’s delicious Honeycrisp apples offer a vibrant crunch and just the perfect sweet note of flavor against the more robust nature of both the brussel sprouts and kale… taming and balancing the mix just right. And, unlike most tossed salads that begin losing their zip once dressed, this one keeps great in the fridge, tastes fabulous as a leftover/day-after nibble… and makes a great sandwich topper!!
How can you go wrong with such a versatile salad… new to the block, ever so humble, and exceedingly appealing… a perfect dinner partner, holiday or not. Enjoy!
Did you change up any traditional holiday dishes this year? If so, what were they? Tell us in the comments below!
Honeycrisp Apple, Brussel Sprout & Kale Salad with Lemon-Honey-Cider Vinaigrette
Serves: 8 to 10 people
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Though I’ve diligently sliced brussel sprouts for this salad, a food processor fitted with the shredding/slicing blade makes for quick work… and a great, thinly shaved sprout. While you can certainly candy your own pecans, I used store-bought Sweet Candied Pecans here… subtly sweet and ever-so-easy to chop and drop in.
- 1 to 2 Honeycrisp apples (or your preferred Stemilt apple variety), cut into wedges and thinly sliced (about 3 ½ cups)
- 2 pounds brussel sprouts, trimmed, loose leaves removed, thinly shaved
- 2 large leaves green kale, ribs removed, thinly sliced into ribbons (about 3 cups, loosely packed)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 5 ounces candied pecans, chopped
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- pinch kosher salt
In a large bowl, add sliced apple, shaved brussel sprouts, sliced kale, cranberries and pecans. Toss gently to mix. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice and honey, until honey is completely dissolved. Whisk in cider vinegar, olive oil and salt, until completely blended. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss gently to mix through. Serve.
Note: Shaved brussel sprouts and sliced kale can be combined ahead of time, stored in a ziplock bag or covered and stored in fridge. When ready to serve, simply toss with remaining ingredients. If serving over several days, you may want to add pecans upon each serving to maintain their crunch.
Nutritional Information (based on 10 servings):
Per Serving: Calories 212.4 (49.5% from fat); Fat 11.7 (sat 1.9g, poly 2.6g, mono 7.0g); Protein 2.2g; Carbohydrates 23.8g; Fiber 5.8g; Sugar 18.4g; Cholesterol 0mg; Potassium 213.3mg; Sodium 53.8mg.
Categorized in: Recipes