Brussel Sprout Caesar Salad
- 6 cups (approximately) brussel sprouts, sliced thinly
- 3 garlic cloves, shredded
- 1 tsp anchovy paste (optional)
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsps red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1/4 lemon)
- 4 Tbsps olive oil
- 1/3 cup parmesan, grated
- 3 slices of prosciutto (optional)
- (if have omitted anchovy paste and Worcestershire: 1 tsp capers, with brine, smashed into paste)
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsps parmesan flakes, for garnish
DirectionsSlice the brussel sprouts thinly with a mandolin or sharp knife. Either in a blender, or a bowl with a whisk, mix the shredded garlic, anchovy paste, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, and lemon juice (and capers, if you’re going vegetarian). Whisk/blend until fully mixed, then slowly add the olive oil, mixing well as you add. Finally, mix in the parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss the sprouts with the dressing and set aside for 5-15 minutes. On a grill set to 350ºF/175ºC, or on a pan set to medium heat, cook the prosciutto pieces for approximately 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, let cool, then cut into small pieces. Add the prosciutto to the salad and toss. Top with parmesan flakes and fresh ground pepper. Serve.
And now for the details…
In my last post, we had a juicy burger… this post is the accompaniment to that burger. What goes really well with burgers? Coleslaw. But I didn’t feel like coleslaw at the time, and I had brussel sprouts that needed to be used, so instead, the brussel sprout Caesar was born!
The texture in this salad is more similar to coleslaw, but unfortunately, it doesn’t quite keep as one, as we unfortunately found out. The next day, the brussel sprouts had that limp, almost soggy texture that lettuce gets when it’s sat in salad dressing for too long. Not my favourite. So eat this salad on the same day to avoid that!
We start out with prepping the brussel sprouts. Mine were a little forlorn by the time I pulled them out of the fridge to use, so I needed to trim the ends and remove some of the exterior leaves that had gone a bit yellow. I used a sharp knife to get the brussels nice and thin. If you have one, you could use a mandolin. There’s always the option to use a food processor too, but I find the slice on those is much thicker, and not the texture I was going for.
Next we make the salad dressing. Mix the anchovy paste, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, lemon juice and garlic cloves. If you’re making this salad vegetarian, skip the anchovy paste and Worcestershire, and instead add 1 teaspoon of capers with some of the brine, mashed into a paste. Whisk all the ingredients together until fully mixed. Alternatively, you can add all the ingredients to a blender and blend them together.
Once the ingredients have been well mixed, start slowly adding the olive oil, whisking constantly, to allow the dressing to become a homogeneous mix. The mustard acts as an emulsifier here, so it will help to ensure that the oil doesn’t start separating from the rest of the ingredients once the dressing sits.
Finally, we add the shredded parmesan cheese. If you ware whisking, give this a pretty vigorous mix to help break apart the parmesan a bit to get a slightly creamier texture to the dressing.
Wait until you have mixed in the cheese to add your salt and pepper, since the cheese, anchovy paste, and Worcestershire (or capers) are quite salty, so we want to wait until now to do a taste test, then add salt and pepper to your taste preferences, mixing well. Then, we add the dressing to the brussel sprouts.
Mix thoroughly, then set aside for 5-15 minutes to give the brussels some “soak time” in the dressing. While we are waiting, we can cook the prosciutto (obviously you’re going to skip this step if you’re going vegetarian). I cooked the prosciutto on the grill at medium heat (~350ºF/175ºC), since it was already going to cook the burgers, but you can use a pan on the stove heated to medium heat, and cook the prosciutto for about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat, then let the pieces cool, and cut them into small, bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle them and the parmesan flakes over the salad.
Give the salad one last toss, top with some more fresh ground pepper, then serve.