It's great to have really good salads in your arsenal. Sometimes you just have that need in your life for a damn good salad and it's nice to have a simple recipe on hand so you don't have to go seek one out in the wild (aka public). I just got back from my first work trip in over 2.5 years and all I wanted when I got home was a good salad. I felt like my body needed it to even back out after nearly a week of not eating great and definitely lacking on veggies.
Normally I'm the person who likes a salad with alllllll the toppings. But this brussel sprout caesar is quite simple with no add-ons (unless you choose to add them). It really does fill you up though and hit the spot. Caesar salads have long been one of my favorite salads. When done right, they are so delightfully simple, but have a way of satisfying that can't be matched. The problem, however, is that a traditional caesar with romaine lettuce doesn't do much for you by way of nutrients and actually filling you up.
I love this brussel sprout caesar because the brussels really beef up the nutrient factor and on its own it can stand as a meal. Add some grilled chicken or shrimp and you have a really great entree salad that will keep you going. The dressing is so simple to make and doesn't require raw eggs so there's really no skill required to make this and make it right. Just a few ingredients you likely already have in your fridge and you're good to go.
A few notes: don't be put off or intimidated by anchovy paste. You likely know that traditional caesar dressing is made with anchovies that they pulverize into the dressing. The paste helps skip that step and I promise you it's not overly fishy or strong. There is really no substitute for it so if you've never used it, I highly recommend giving it a try. I think you'll be surprised. The other note is to not skip the "resting" step. Unlike regular lettuce, the brussel sprouts need some time to absorb the dressing. Letting the salad sit for at least 15 minutes helps the acids in the lemon juice to break down the brussels a bit, take off the raw bitterness, and soften. It's really necessary to make this the best salad it can be.
I promise this is such an easy salad to make and you're going to love it. I have a feeling you'll be making it all summer long.
Brussel Sprout Caesar Salad
Makes ~ 2-4 servings (2 entree; 4 starter/side servings)
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 0 minutes | Idle time: 15+ minutes
Click the file below to download and print the recipe
I recommend reading the recipe all the way through, including the recipe notes at the bottom, before you start cooking.
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. anchovy paste
Juice of 1 lemon
¾ tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 C. mayo
1/3 C. grated parmesan cheese
2-2 ½ C. shredded brussel sprouts
Salt and pepper to taste
Into a large bowl, grate the garlic and add a pinch of salt. Add the lemon juice and stir. Let sit for a few minutes before moving to step 2 (this takes the bite off of the raw garlic).
Add the rest of the ingredients except the brussel sprouts including a good pinch of pepper and whisk everything together.
Toss the sprouts in the dressing using tongs, making sure everything is coated. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes but up to several hours. Toss again before serving.
Serve as a starter or side salad or add grilled chicken or shrimp for a hearty main course.
*Recipe notes + Variations*
Anchovy paste is not fishy. A little goes a long way, but there is really no substitute for it. You can find it at most grocery stores usually near where the canned tuna is. If you have never used it, I highly recommend giving it a try.
I buy my brussel sprouts pre-shredded as this saves a good amount of time. If you don’t have those or prefer to buy them whole, simply shred them yourself with a good processor or by thinly slicing with a sharp knife (this is usually my method when I need to do it).