A Taste of Fall: Kale, Brussel Sprout, Peach and Pecorino Salad

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!

Join the Conversation

  1. Tom Braddock says:

    Looks wonderful as always Michele! Still haven’t dealt with kale myself, but I LOVE what I’ve had, esp. from Southerners down here! The pics are right on as always -and your writing is making me long for NW Jersey and your area across the Del. River (for Fall pleasures)…… I think Fla. is best as a Dec. to late May place, (DUH!)…if THAT!…..having endured 7 yrs. now!

    Cheers – Tom B. (go Scarlet Knights!) Hoo Rah…Hoo…Rah!

  2. Grazie, Tom. I was very surprised how good the kale tasted and thanks for the comments on the pics – having fun doing my ‘food styling’. Enjoy the warmth down yonder…Best Michele

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