By Angela Denstad Stigeler
It may seem a little unorthodox to roast a salad, and to pickle seeds to dress it, but for a hearty autumn dinner, this combination’s appeal is unrivaled. Not only does it bring together a whole host of seasonal flavors, it comes together in a snap, putting a very full meal into a single bowl. Crunchy kale and crisp apples accompany creamy roast potatoes and savory sausage. Add a warm, mustardy dressing to bring it all together. The seeds lend a nice pop of flavor and texture, too, making this a real stand-out meal for fall. Full of rich colors and hearty flavors, this dish is a delicious way to extend the boundaries of what a dinner salad can be. I might even be tempted to roast the kale and the apples a bit, if I didn’t think that would be taking the idea of a salad beyond the pale.
Warm Sausage, Potato and Kale Salad with Pickled Mustard Seed Dressing
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced
1 medium-sized red onion, cut into thin wedges
4 bratwurst or other sausages
2 crisp-tart apples, cored and cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 cups baby kale leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and drizzle about 3 tablespoons olive oil onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss the potatoes and red onion in the olive oil to coat, then arrange in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Nestle the sausages into the mixture and place in the oven to roast until cooked through, about 20 minutes, turning the potatoes occasionally. Place the apple wedges in a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice to keep them from browning. Add the kale to the bowl.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup cider vinegar with the sugar and kosher salt, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture just to the boil. Place the mustard seeds into a pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add the boiling vinegar mixture and cover. Allow the mixture to cool, then add the additional ¼ cup vinegar, the olive oil, the mustard, maple syrup and black pepper. Tightly cover the jar and shake to combine. Pour some of the dressing over the kale and toss to coat. Slice the cooked sausages and add them to the bowl. Transfer the hot potatoes and onions to the bowl and toss the salad until the ingredients are well combined and the kale wilts slightly. Divide among individual plates and pass the extra dressing on the side.