Cook This: A salad for spring in Seattle

By Ellen Kutscher
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By Ellen Kutscher

Last June, after almost five years, I left my post as Canlis' office manager/media and public relations coordinator for the world of corporate PR. I'd arrived at Canlis a half decade before as a wide-eyed college graduate with a degree in history and absolutely no idea what to do with myself.

Within a few months of starting as a reservationist, I was casually dropping terms like "mise en place" and "prix fixe" during conversations with my baffled parents. I quickly fell head over heels in love with the world of fine dining and the energy and passion that comes with a well-run restaurant.

I've been relieved to find that my fierce love of good food (and photographing it) has stayed with me through my professional transition. I'm the person who leaves a restaurant having tasted something incredible or finishes reading a post from one of my favorite food bloggers and can't rest until I've recreated the recipe myself.

This happened recently after a quick beer and bite to eat with friends at Percy's & Co. in Ballard. I devoured the kale & Brussels sprout salad with pecorino and almonds offered on the dinner menu and was struck by how completely delicious and simple it was. A tangle of shaved Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced kale, toasted almonds and cheese dressed with a basic vinaigrette ... I had to try it at home.

So here it is — a perfect spring (or any season, really) salad. Filling enough that you can pair it with a glass of crisp, bright white wine and eat it for dinner while sitting on the porch steps as the light fades. Special thanks to Chef Derek May and the team at Percy's & Co. for being willing to share this recipe with me. Disclaimer: There were no exact measurements for ingredients going into this so please use as much or as little of any ingredient as you prefer. You can't really go wrong.

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1 bunch Lacinato kale, shredded off the stem

1/2 -1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, grated (Pro tip: You can use the large grate on a cheese grater.)

3/4-1 cup roasted, unsalted almonds, chopped.

1/2-1 cup grated Pecorino Romano.


The dressing is a pretty straightforward vinaigrette and can be made in a blender or combined in a jar and then shaken. Amounts are suggested, so please adjust to taste.

1-2 small shallot cloves, finely chopped

1 large spoonful of dijon mustard

Juice of one small lemon

1/2-1 cup olive oil

Several teaspoons of champagne vinegar to taste

Salt & pepper to taste


Mix all salad ingredients with desired amount of dressing and enjoy!


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