I took a risk over the weekend in the kitchen, and almost took the loss.
It’s not everyday I try something completely out of my comfort zone. I won’t try to make my own pasta. I don’t want to grind and stuff homemade sausage. Don’t ask me to make a souffle, clafoutis, or creme brulee. All of those things seem way above my skill level.
But I did try to make my own caesar salad dressing over the weekend. If you weren’t aware, the main ingredient in that salty, creamy dressing is…anchovies. Yikes. I’ve never worked with anchovies, nor sardines, nor any other tinned fish that wasn’t tuna or salmon. That’s not the scariest part, either. Caesar dressing calls for raw egg yolks, basically emulsified in parmesan cheese and olive oil. Okay, this is just barely above my skill level. If I was able to make a Hollandaise sauce before, I could do this, right?
The mistake I made was completely on me. After pulsing everything in my food processor, I found the mixture was too tan. Instead of the snowy white color most Caesar salad dressings come in, it looked like mine had spent way too long at the beach. Trying to retrace my steps to figure out what wrong, I figured it out.
The recipe I was following called for 10 anchovies. 10.
I thought it said 10 ounces.
When I was grocery shopping I even thought that was too much, so I bought 3 cans that were 2 ounces each. Even with just 6 ounces of anchovies—I probably tripled the amount needed for the recipe! I tasted the dressing and the verdict was officially in—there was an overpowering anchovy taste. To fix my mistake, I doubled up everything else in the recipe…and it ended up perfect. The one below is the original, minus the 10 ounces of anchovies. Don’t make the same mistake I made!
I originally was going to do a raw, shredded brussels sprouts salad—but thought this would taste better roasted and warm. Roasting veggies just adds that extra dimension of flavor, and I love a good char. You can either serve this warm, or cold—I’ve eaten it both ways and they’re both delicious.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
Roasted Brussels sprouts in a thick and creamy Caesar dressing with shaved Parmesan.
- 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, stems removed, sprouts halved
- 2 TBS. olive oil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- salt & pepper
- 3/4 cup shaved Parmesan
For the dressing:
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 10 anchovies
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Lay out on a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes.
- Make the dressing: place all ingredients in a food processor except for olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Gently drizzle in olive oil while continuing to pulse until dressing is creamy and smooth.
- In a large bowl, toss roasted Brussels sprouts with dressing and Parmesan. Serve warm or cold.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Lay out on a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes.
Make the dressing: place all ingredients in a food processor except for olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Gently drizzle in olive oil while continuing to pulse until dressing is creamy and smooth.
In a large bowl, toss roasted Brussels sprouts with dressing and Parmesan. Serve warm or cold.