A chill is in the air! Although I always resist the end of summer, there is something comforting about those first beautiful fall days when the crisp air blows through the windows; the shadows grow longer; and the colors of the produce at the market begin to reflect the earthiness of the season. Yesterday was one of those days….ooh baby – magical. The local market did not let me down – produce from the waning days of summer mixed happily with produce from the early days of fall. I simply love our little local market, None Such Farm. It truly allows me to ‘eat the season’ – from their fresh produce to their homegrown chickens, they always send my imagination soaring as I read their chalkboard listing their harvests for the week. This trip was no exception. I recently tried a recipe in Bon Appetit for a very interesting salad of kale and brussels sprouts. I was wary at first as the ingredients were raw but it was over-the-moon delicious. So it was the fresh dark green kale and a few lingering summer peaches that inspired me to repeat this treat with a few of my own touches thrown in. I added in the peaches and replaced almonds with hazelnuts on this go around. Feel free to improvise – the backdrop of the earthy kale and brussel sprouts provide a canvas for so many flavors – cranberries or radish or fennel or…..make it yours. Happy Fall!!
Kale, Brussel Sprout, Peach and Pecorino Salad
Adapted from Bon Appetit Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad recipe, November 2011
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 small garlic cloves, finely grated
1 large bunch of Tuscan kale, center stem discarded, leaves diced
10 brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated (HINT: Much easier if you use a food processor to grate the sprouts!)
1/3 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 peach, cut into small bite-sized pieces
About 1 cup of shaved Pecorino
1. Combine the lemon juice, mustard, shallot, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. Set aside.
2. Stir the diced kale and shredded brussel sprouts in a bowl large enough to accommodate the entire salad.
3. In a small skillet, heat the hazelnuts over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Transfer nuts to a paper towel or plate and allow to cool.
4. Slowly whisk olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Add dressing, peaches, hazelnuts and cheese to kale/sprout mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
6. Serve. Buon appetito!