Brussels Sprouts with Caesar Dressing & Pecans
Like the moon, the popularity of certain vegetables waxes and wains. With restaurant chefs focused more and more on sustainability, eating seasonally, and doing their best to showcase farm or garden to table offerings, it was only a matter of time before miniature cabbages showed up on fine dining menus coast to coast. Cultivated in Belgium in the late 16th century, the growing season for Brussels sprouts is long--August to March. For decades, their nutty and earthy flavor, best roasted and charred rather than boiled, was overshadowed by a villainous reputation as America's most hated vegetable. Have no fear, roasting is here to transform these bad boys into charming, well behaved dinner guests. Tossed with a bit of vegetarian caesar dressing and some toasted pecans and watch this be the first plate to disappear.
A combination of purple and green Brussels sprouts is delightful. The smaller the sprouts the better, less bitter and easier to eat. For a darn good cheater's caesar dressing, simply buy Marie's Creamy Caesar dressing (in the refrigerated area of most produce departments). For die hard Brussels sprouts eaters, try adding some sautéed pancetta to the salad, or blend two anchovies into the dressing.
2 pounds Brussels sprouts (the smaller the better), small ones left whole, medium ones halved
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans
FOR THE DRESSING
3/4 cup olive oil
3 drops Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 small cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup finely grated pecorino romano
1. Place a CAST IRON SKILLET in a cold oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
2. Place the pecans in a small pan and roast over medium heat, turning frequently, until toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
3. Place the Brussels sprouts In a glass bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and toss to combine.
4. Remove the hot cast iron skillet from the oven, add the sprouts in a single layer, and roast for 20 minutes. Flip the sprouts and roast for another 10 minutes, or until the sprouts are a bit charred and caramelized.
5. In a Vitamix or blender, whir the Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic, mustard, pepper, lemon juice, and yogurt. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil into the dressing until it emulsifies. Stir in the cheese.
6. Toss 1/2 the dressing with the Brussels sprouts and taste. Add more dressing as desired.
7. Sprinkle with the toasted pecans and serve immediately.