Salad? In the winter? Sometimes I’m not in the mood. Most of the winter I just want hearty stews, pot roasts or big bowls of risotto. But sometimes I want a salad – one that actually fills me up – and this Bacon Brussels Salad fits the bill.
Kale and Brussels sprouts are still in season this time of year in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s so nice to eat something other than roasted meat, apples and root vegetables. The two green veggies also hold their own in terms of helping you feel full – this salad is no wimp!
I love the flavors and textures in this salad. The kale and sprouts provide a hearty, crunchy backdrop for the strong, fatty flavors of the cheese and bacon, and the shallots and dressing add a welcome acidic bite.
Like any good winter salad, this Bacon Brussels Salad can be served warm. Bonus points for adding a poached egg on top – it’s a good way to stretch the salad and make it more filling. Plus, the yellow of the yoke adds a pop of color that is insanely visually satisfying. The Kitchn’s super-detailed guide to the perfect poached egg is my go-to.
Bacon Brussels Salad
For the salad:
- 1 lb bacon
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lb kale, washed, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
- ½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
For the dressing:
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with foil, lay bacon strips side-by-side in pan and bake for about 12 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Let bacon cool and place on paper towel-lined plate. Lift foil and drain grease into medium skillet.
- Heat drippings on medium-high and add sprouts and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce to medium and saute sprouts for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned.
- In a large salad bowl, toss kale and massage briefly to tenderize. Mix in shallots, cheese and sprouts. Roughly chop bacon and mix that in, too.
- Whisk dressing ingredients until emulsified, or shake in a mason jar. Serve salad with dressing, storing leftover dressing in separate container to keep the salad crisp.