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If you love Brussels sprouts like I do, you will love this salad. If you aren't sure, but you are a fan of Caesar salad, then you will hopefully love it too!

I've switched out chopped Brussels sprouts for the romaine lettuce in a classic Caesar salad and subbed toasted bread crumbs for the classic croutons. This way, every bite has the crunchy buttery flavor of a crouton so there's no rooting around in your bowl for one.

Because this salad has essentially only three ingredients, it is important to use the best quality ingredients you can and make the dressing from scratch. To make it as easy as possible, I've switched out the traditional method of whisking and mincing to make the dressing in a blender. That way, it is as easy as making a smoothie. You put all the dressing ingredients in the blender and blend away. In about 30 seconds, you have a perfectly emulsified creamy homemade Caesar dressing!

I like to use whole anchovies that are packed in a tin of oil, but anchovy paste works too. Don't be tempted to omit the anchovies, they make all the difference. Once the dressing is blended, you won't even know that they are there, but their contribution to the flavor of the dressing is huge.

The other important part of the dressing is the egg. A friend of mine who considers himself a so-called Caesar salad king told me that in his opinion Caesar salad dressing isn't really Caesar salad dressing without the egg to give it richness. I concurred and call for a coddled egg (a gently and barely heated one) instead of a raw egg in this recipe.

If you have never coddled an egg before, don't worry. It's beyond easy. All you do is boil a small pot of water, place an egg on a spoon like you are dying Easter eggs, and hold the egg in the water for 1 minute. Immediately following, you plunge it into a cold water bath to stop the cooking and you have a coddled egg that is perfect for making Caesar salad dressing.

Editor's note: This recipe contains uncooked eggs, which sometimes contain salmonella bacteria that can cause serious illness.

Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad

12 ounces Brussels sprouts, stemmed and shredded or chopped

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, or to taste

3 to 5 peeled cloves garlic

3 anchovies OR 2 generous teaspoons anchovy paste

1 generous tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 generous teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more if needed

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon fine-grain salt

1/4 unsliced loaf stale bread, grated (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup grated freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Clean and trim the Brussels sprouts and chop or shred by hand or in a food processor Set aside.

Make the dressing by first coddling an egg. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Once it is boiling, place egg on a spoon and lower into the water for 1 minute. Immediately place the egg in a bowl of ice water and let it sit until cool.

In a small blender or smoothie cup, combine the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, the garlic, anchovies, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Break the egg into a ramekin or small bowl, remove any bits of shell if necessary and then add the egg to the blender. Puree according to your machine's instructions until the mixture is fully emulsified and creamy. Only add more oil if it is too thin. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the bread crumbs: Melt the butter and add the salt. Swirl it around the pan so it coats the entire pan. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and stir with a silicone spatula occasionally, moving the toasted breadcrumbs to the top and the untoasted breadcrumbs to the bottom until all are crisp and toasted. This will take about 15 minutes.

Assemble the salad by mixing the chopped Brussels sprouts with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Next add about 1/2 cup of dressing and mix well. Season with a few grinds of black pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt. Mix well and taste. You may need to add a little more dressing. Top with the toasted bread crumbs and mix well. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 264 calories, 8 g protein, 20 g fat, 15 g carbohydrate (3 g sugar), 63 mg cholesterol, 615 mg sodium and 4 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1.

Food on 04/25/2018

Print Headline: Caesar salad skips lettuce, substitutes Brussels sprouts

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