Recipe: Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad

A few years back, the marketing term ‘superfood’ surfaced, starting a craze of slamming down blueberries, while nibbling goji berries, slurping raw kale juice and ingesting bowls of quinoa topped with chia seeds. While superfoods come and go, this much is true – some foods are more powerful than others, with the strength to brighten our health and fuel our bodies.

It’s no surprise that many of the foods touted as superfoods come from nature. After all, aren’t we nagged from childhood that vegetables will make us ‘big and strong’? For me, a food is super if it tastes great, while also being good for you. This salad is all about shamelessly delivering flavour while also offering a nutritional punch – there’s Brussels sprout (raw, no less!) from the anti-oxidant rich brassica family, teamed with health-kicking borlotti beans, and vitamin E-packed sunflower seeds.

Brussells Sprouts Caesar with Croutons, Borlotti Beans & Sunflower Seeds

Serves 4

  • 250g stale bread
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 350g Brussels sprouts (about 8-9 large sprouts), trimmed
  • 500g borlotti beans (about 2 cans), drained
  • ¼ red onion, finely sliced
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • ¼ cup parsley (tightly packed), chopped
  • ¼ cup basil leaves (tightly packed), roughly torn
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Caesar dressing

  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup whole egg mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • Juice of ¼ lemon

Start by making the croutons. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Roughly dice the stale bread into 1cm pieces, place on a baking tray, coat in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the oven until golden, about 15-20 minutes, turning every now and then to make sure the croutons are evenly browned and crisp on all sides. Cool.

To make the Caesar dressing, while the croutons are baking, add the garlic cloves to the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes until they are very soft. Remove from the oven and skin them. Mash the garlic with the back of a fork and then add to the mayonnaise, sour cream, capers and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning – if you like it more garlicky, mince ½ clove of fresh garlic and add this to the dressing.

Using a mandolin or grater attachment on the food processor, very finely slice the Brussels sprouts.

Combine the Brussels sprout shavings with the borlotti beans, red onion, herbs and half the sunflower seeds. Add the mayonnaise and stir through, mixing well to make sure the ingredients are well coated with the Caesar dressing. Allow the salad to sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the Brussels sprouts to soften and the flavours to meld. To serve, sprinkle over the Parmesan shavings and remaining sunflower seeds.

PS. Hetty’s book, Community, was released by Plum Books on the 1st of May. It is jam packed full of amazing salad recipes and is so good that the first print run completely sold out! You can buy it here.