Our alma mater, Bowdoin College, serves a Thanksgiving meal the Thursday a week prior to the actual holiday. This tradition is always much-anticipated and arguably one of the best meals the school’s hardworking and talented (ranked #1) dining staff puts together. They not only cook a fantastic traditional meal, but decorate the dining hall to help students get into the spirit of the holiday.
With three Friendsgivings and Thanksgiving meals in the next week, I decided to ease into the Thanksgiving spirit with a lighter recipe, focusing on a part of the meal that is usually quickly thrown together, after the turkey and the sides are already on the table—the salad.
Kale Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots, serves 4
1 lb. brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 bunch of kale, washed and leaves picked
1 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
7 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
Salt and pepper
Optional: Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degree F. Shake out as much water as you can from the kale, add it into a large serving bowl, and sprinkle over some salt and pepper, about a half teaspoon. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and five tablespoons of olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. (When I’m super lazy, I just toss all the dressing ingredients right into the serving bowl—one less bowl to wash!) Massage the dressing into the kale and reserve. This will help soften the kale.
Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on a baking tray and toss in the shallots. Spread the shallots out and sprinkle with a bit of salt. On top of the bed of shallots, add the sliced brussels sprouts and a bit more olive oil and salt and pepper to the top. Place in the middle rack of the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, tossing halfway through.
To serve, toss the roasted brussels sprouts and shallots into the serving bowl with the kale and top with toasted almonds. If you’d like, shave over with fresh parmesan.