This sausage & kale salad is a clever way to satisfy a sausage craving. Don’t think I’m crazy – I love a good bar & grill sausage, with a side of fries, and a shake (because who doesn’t love a shake?). I’m not here to convince you that this salad can replace the pub experience.
But if you’re trying to be healthy or cook at home (or it’s Monday and your local pub is closed…), you should really try this recipe. Picking a high quality, tasty sausage is key. I often go for a good bratwurst and other times a slightly healthier spicy chicken sausage option.
This salad also comes together fast, with minimal effort. I’ve started making this to replace those ‘quick pasta night’ meals. The lentils take 15-20 minutes to cook (a bit longer than pasta). While the lentils simmer, I heat & brown some pre-cooked sausage and make the dressing.
Then I tidy up the kitchen or have a dance-off, you know, normal ways to pass time while the lentils finish up. Once everything is done, no need to wait for it to cool (or to stop dancing) – just toss it all together! Enjoy.
- ¾ cup dried brown lentils*
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sausages
- 6 oz kale, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp dijon or stone ground mustard
- 1.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch red pepper
- Cook lentils according to the package, usually using 3x the amount of water as lentils. Add bay leaves to the water at the beginning of cooking. Typically bring to a boil then simmer (or remove from heat) for 15-20 minutes.
- Mince garlic (or grate over a microplane). Add to a bowl with mustard and red wine vinegar. Add a pinch or two of salt. Let sit for 5 or 10 minutes for the flavors to combine. Whisk in olive oil just before serving, thin with either more oil or water if needed.
- After making the dressing, you should have about 5-10 minutes left on the lentils. Then cut sausage into slices and brown in a hot pan for 3 minutes per side.
- When everything is ready, massage dressing all over kale. Divide kale onto plates, then top with lentils and sausage.
- Lentils: Red and yellow lentils turn to mush when cooked, making them great for thickening soups or stews. Green, brown, and puy lentils are interchangeable for this recipe, as they all hold their shape when cooked. I tend to read the cooking instructions on the back and pick ones that cook in the shorter amount of time.
- Mustard: pick your favorite kind of mustard – dijon, stone ground, spicy. I think anything other than a honey mustard works well.
- Sausage & Nutrition: The nutrition is calculated using bratwursts, so if you use chicken sausage, the calories and fat will decrease. But don’t let the sausage fool you – this salad packs in a lot of nutritional power thanks to the kale and lentils. It provides 58% of your daily protein, 75% of your fiber, and 30% (or more) of a long list of other nutrients, including the cold-fighting vitamins A and C.
Sausage & Kale Salad Inspiration
This sausage & kale salad is from a book called “Salad for Dinner,” by Tasha De Serio and it is definitely a meal in itself. A lot of the recipes make good use of lentils, beans, and different types of grains.
Most of the recipes don’t have pictures, but the 2 recipes I’ve made so far have been outstanding. This one and a barley salad with steak and muscat grapes. I’ll post that in spring when muscat grapes are in season.
A few of the other recipes I have bookmarked to make:
- Farro and black rice salad with arugula and tangerines
- Pasta salad with lentils, kale, and warm bacon vinaigrette
- Warm cauliflower salad with brown butter vinaigrette, sieved egg and toasted breadcrumbs