Last summer we stopped for a snack at Whitefish Handcrafted Spirits. I ordered the first item on the menu – usually a good bet – a Brussels sprouts Caesar salad, along with a tasty handcrafted cocktail. I guess the idea of a warm salad made up of America’s most despised vegetable just got my attention. The cocktail was good, but the salad was delicious – a great mix of warm veggie goodness, crisp leafy bits and lemony Caesar. Hooked, I got to work on an easy, healthy, tasty version for Health Revolt.

DSC_0220Brussels sprouts are among the healthiest veggies around – they’re loaded with antioxidants, protein, fiber, as well as twenty vitamins, beta-carotene, folic acid, and magnesium. They’re also high in selenium, which is associated with reduced risks of certain cancers, as well as increased male virility. Often prescribed to improve digestive health in Chinese medicine, they’re tiny cabbages that grow beautifully on long stalks.

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This easy Caesar dressing skips the uncooked egg. Why? Because I teach cooking classes at Cancer Support Community in Bozeman, and cancer patients need to skip eating undercooked or uncooked eggs, as the rest of us might consider. And because it’s delicious without it. I use avocado oil because it’s got a high smoking point (520 degrees F) so it’s ideal for searing the sprouts at a high heat for a nice brown crust without burning. Also the health benefits are a bit higher than other oils. I like using anchovy paste because it’s easy, omit it if you must, but please add some good quality salt. If you have a cast iron skillet, use it because it fortifies your food with iron.

In order for this dish to turn out, take care on two steps. First, you’re looking for a good caramelization on the Brussels sprouts. To get it, once you’ve trimmed your Brussels sprouts, halved them, heated your skillet and have added avocado oil, add the sprouts cut-side-down… and don’t move them! Let them caramelize for 5 to 7 minutes, then flip each one carefully and cook their backsides a bit more. Don’t let them cook too long or they’ll start smelling weird. Second, dress with the Caesar and garnish carefully with few squeezes of lemon along with lemon zest, red pepper flakes and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy this dish a warm salad or an exciting side dish – it’s zingy and healthy regardless.

Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
Print Recipe
Upgrade your salad game with Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad. This tangy, healthy twist on traditional Caesar offers tons of health benefits with a lemony, eggless dressing over perfectly caramelized Brussels sprouts.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
7 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
7 minutes
Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
Print Recipe
Upgrade your salad game with Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad. This tangy, healthy twist on traditional Caesar offers tons of health benefits with a lemony, eggless dressing over perfectly caramelized Brussels sprouts.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
7 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
7 minutes
Ingredients
Caesar dressing
Garnish:
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add 1 cup of cheese, lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, mustard and anchovy paste. Turn the machine on and let it run for 15 to 20 seconds. As the machine is running, drizzle in 1/2 to 3/4 cup avocado oil. Let the machine run for another 15 seconds after the oil has incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings – does it need more lemon juice or garlic? Salt? You decide.
  2. Remove Brussels sprouts from the stalk with a knife, rinse, and cut each in half. Remove outer leaves if they are undesirable; keep any leaves that fall off. Repeat until desired amount of sprouts are ready to cook.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add a few tablespoons of avocado oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down, and cook without stirring until the undersides of the sprouts turn golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Use tongs to turn each sprout over carefully, one at a time, and cook the undersides for another minute or so. Add garlic for the last minute of cooking, then season with salt and black pepper, toss, then remove from the pan. Depending on how many sprouts you’re cooking and the size of your pan, you may need to do two or three batches.
  4. Spoon the warm Brussels sprouts onto a serving platter or plates, drizzle eggless Caesar dressing over them. Add a squeeze of lemon, the lemon zest and some red pepper flakes, then top with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy immediately.
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