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Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Servings: 6 to 8

This fan-favorite recipe exemplifies fall at its finest: abundant with dried fruit and nuts, pickles, and roasted vegetables. Hand-bruising the kale to soften it a bit is one of the keys to making this salad such a success, as is the mustard crème fraîche, which beautifully brightens and balances the robust flavor of kale.


For the candied pecans

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. bourbon
  • 4 cups pecan halves (about 1 lb.)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt

For the sherry-walnut vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. finely diced shallots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil

For the pickled onion

  • 1 medium red onion (1/2 lb.), thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

For the mustard crème fraîche

  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the roasted sweet potatoes

  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbs. walnut oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the greens

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 8 cups packed stemmed kale, torn into bite-size pieces (1-1/2 bunches)
  • 3/4 cup Sherry-Walnut Vinaigrette
  • 1 cup dried sweet cherries
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups Candied Pecans
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pickled Red Onions
  • 8 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled


Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 786
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 468
  • Fat (g): 52
  • Saturated Fat (g): 14
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 16
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17
  • Cholesterol (mg): 39
  • Sodium (mg): 927
  • Carbohydrates (g): 67
  • Fiber (g): 12
  • Sugar (g): 39
  • Protein (g): 17


Make the candied pecans

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff peaks form. Fold in the vanilla and bourbon. Fold in the nuts until well coated. Fold in the sugar and 1/4 tsp. salt. Spread the nuts in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake until dry, stirring twice, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Make the sherry-walnut vinaigrette

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallots, mustard, maple syrup, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. While whisking constantly, stream in the walnut oil and then the peanut oil until thickened and emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Make the pickled red onion

  • In a medium bowl, toss the onion with the sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt and let sit for 10 minutes. Toss with the vinegar, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Make the mustard crème fraîche

  • In a medium bowl, combine the crème fraîche, mustards, honey, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 week.

Roast the sweet potatoes

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, maple syrup, and walnut oil, and season with 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool until ready to use. Or, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Prepare the greens

  • Refresh the trimmed Brussels sprouts by soaking them in cold water for about 10 minutes. Drain well, and thinly slice with a knife, or in a food processor.
  • Soak the torn kale in cold water for about 10 minutes. Drain, and spin in a salad spinner or pat dry with paper towels. Both Brussels sprouts and kale may be stored in plastic zip-top bags with a lightly dampened paper towel to until ready to serve, or for up to 2 days.

Assemble and serve

  • Add the kale to a large bowl, and drizzle with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Massage the kale to lightly bruise the leaves until all the leaves are tender and deep green. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts, dried cherries, pecans, and sweet potatoes, and drizzle with 1/2 cup of the remaining dressing; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Smear a heaping tablespoon of the crème fraîche on the bottom of each salad plate or shallow bowl. Top with a some of the salad, a few pickled red onion slices, and the goat cheese.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • mack4352 | 01/16/2021

    I don't know if the list of ingredients and steps discourages people from trying this salad, but most of the ingredients can be prepared a day ahead and the salad is delicious when put together. The salad dressing is great with the mix of peanut and walnut oils; however one could use EVOO as well. The rest of the ingredients lend themselves to mixing and matching in other salads or dishes. Any roasted squash would work for the sweet potato. The kale with the brussels sprouts is the heart of the salad to which you can add anything else. The only changes I would make would be to use less vanilla on the pecans and use no more than a tablespoon of the mustard creme fraiche unless you have mustard lovers. I will certainly make this over and over.

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