Make-Ahead Holiday Salad


With just a little know-how, this kale salad can be tender and a total feast for the eyes.

Make-Ahead Holiday Salad
Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

With just a little know-how the result of a kale salad can be tender, not aggressively, well, leaf-like. Plus, it's the perfect green to help you get ahead of the game with a make-ahead dish. Both kale and Brussels sprouts stand up to the test of time and hold dressing well for much longer than the standard salad can, making this make-ahead salad, the smartest item on your holiday menu.

Massaging the kale leaves well with the dressing allows the leaves to soften and tenderize—the key is to not be shy and just get your hands in there. The bowl is full of gorgeous colors: There are red kale leaves, green Brussels sprouts, golden croutons, and jewel-toned pomegranate seeds. All together this salad is a gorgeous feast for the eyes, inviting eaters to dig in. It’s all tossed with a sweet-tart Dijon mustard vinaigrette, whose sharp flavor plays off the buttery herb croutons

P.S. You can use green kale leaves if you can’t find red.


  • 1 cup hazelnuts

  • ¼ cup white balsamic or white wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 1 large bunch red kale, ribs removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded in a food processor (about 6 cups)

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

  • 2 cups Butter-and-Herb Croutons


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Roast hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet until golden brown and fragrant, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool. Rub hazelnuts between your fingers to loosen skins, then discard them (some skins will stick—that’s OK). Transfer hazelnuts to a cutting board and roughly chop them; set aside.

  2. Whisk vinegar, honey, salt, mustard, and pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in oil.

  3. Toss kale and Brussels sprouts with ¼ cup dressing in a large bowl. Using your hands, massage dressing into the kale mixture until leaves are slightly softened and shiny, about 2 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add pomegranate seeds and remaining dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.

  4. Just before serving, add croutons and hazelnuts and toss to combine.

Related Articles