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Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad

I love a good Caesar salad but one thing I really enjoy about a Caesar salad is making my own dressing. There’s something about getting a bowl and a whisk and just going to work to create one tasty dressing. Just like any other dressing, pesto or chimichurri, making it by hand just creates a different flavour and feel. I went with brioche croutons for this just to balance the “bite” of the dressing and Brussels sprouts. Pancetta also is added to add texture and flavour that I think is different from bacon, which is added to Caesar salads sometimes. Hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as I did making it and of course eating it!

SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS CAESAR SALAD WITH PANCETTA AND BRIOCHE CROUTONS

Recipe by Mark Calaminici | Food Loves Company

Serves 4


Ingredients

2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped into a paste

5-6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped into a paste, substitute 1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce

1 raw egg yolk, substitute 1-2 tbsp of mayonnaise

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Juice of ½ a lemon

½ cup extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

salt, to taste

Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

50g Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated

Water, optional, to thin out dressing

150g pancetta, diced into small chunks

3 slices of brioche bread, diced into small chunks

500g Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced


Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


2. In a large mixing bowl, add garlic, anchovy, Dijon, egg yolk and lemon juice. Whisk the ingredients to combine. Slowly add the oil a few drops at a time and continue to whisk to emulsify. Once the oil has emulsified you can add the oil quicker while continuing to whisk. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix into dressing. Once done, season with salt, freshly cracked pepper. If the dressing is too thick for your liking you can add a little bit of water to help thin it out. Set dressing aside.


3. In a frying pan over low-medium heat, add pancetta and cook until it starts to render and get crispy. Once cooked, remove to a plate lined with paper towel. Set aside.


4. In a mixing bowl, add bread and either drizzle extra virgin olive oil or the rendered fat from the pancetta. Season with salt, freshly cracked pepper and toss to combine everything. Layer the croutons on a sheet pan and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 mintues, tossing halfway through. Once done, leave the croutons to cool and continue to crisp up. You can place on a wire rack as well.


5. Add the Brussels sprouts to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Add the pancetta, toss and then add as much Parmigiano-Reggiano as you like and toss again. Then add the croutons, mix and then plate. Garnish with freshly cracked pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Enjoy!


Until next time, Ciao!