Warm Brussel Sprout & Kale Salad with Egg & Fakin’ Bacon

Do you have any dishes that you fantasize over? Maybe it was an amazing ravioli you had during your travels in Italy, or maybe it’s more close to home like your mom’s famous pear pie. Well, this recipe is mine. If you are from the Bay Area, you might know of a restaurant called Pizza Antica that serves a warm brussel sprout salad. Now being a vegetarian it’s off-limits as it has bacon in it. Also, the thought of ever making it at home scared me away as you have to pull apart the leaves of each brussel sprout. So here it finally is! My first attempt at making this dish. It is salty, sweet, and has those delicious fatty notes that come from bacon with the substitution of fakin’ bacon. The result—everything I remembered and maybe even better!

The Dressing:
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme and/or basil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
The Salad:
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes cut in 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 cups brussel sprouts chopped or peeled (your choice)
  • 2-3 cups kale
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of 1/4 inch cubed artisan bread (such as sourdough)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 strips of fakin’ bacon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

To start, make the dressing by combining all the ingredients together. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Lightly coat with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Take out a large cookie sheet and evenly place the sweet potatoes on the pan. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until desired tenderness. The potatoes should be lightly browned/crisp.

To prepare the salad, cut the brussel sprouts in half. Turn the sprouts on their back so the core is facing towards you. Make a v-shaped cut to remove the core. The leave should fall and separate easily now. Place in a large bowl with the kale.

Chop the onion. In a large skillet melt the butter. Add the onion to the pan and saute over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent and golden (about 10 minutes). Set aside.

To prepare the eggs, fill a small saucepan with water. Place the eggs (still in their shells) in the pan and bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. The yolks should be firm. Peel the eggs and cut them into 8 wedges. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover the bread with a light drizzle of olive oil and toss. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. They should be golden brown.

Cook the fakin’ bacon on medium heat. Transfer to paper towels to dab/drain if need be.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the brussels sprouts, kale and toss until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Add the onion, bacon and sweet potato and cook until hot. Remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the croutons, eggs and dressing. Gently mix together and serve immediately.

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