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This caesar salad with roasted Brussels sprouts and crispy pancetta is packed full of flavor. This Brussels sprout caesar salad is dressed with a homemade creamy caesar dressing and topped with homemade croutons. You new go-to salad.
Creamy Caesar dressing ingredients
I love making my own salad dressing from scratch, so I know all the ingredients going into it. For this creamy caesar dressing I use: anchovies, lemon, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, white wine vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.
Anchovies are the most important part of a great caesar salad dressing, so no skipping out on it! I use a mortar and pestle to grind it to a paste along with the garlic. If you don’t have that tool, you can mince the anchovies and garlic.
Making the salad dressing
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until fully combined. Taste and adjust seasoning and consistency to your taste. Sometimes I add a bit more lemon juice or salt for taste and extra mayo for thickness. Keep in mind, it will thicken more once you put it in the refrigerator.
Once the the creamy caesar dressing is complete, place it in the refrigerator in an airtight container till ready for use. Due to the mayo and lemon juice, this dressing should be used within a week for best taste and freshness (if it even lasts that long!). For a classic caesar dressing, check out my kale caesar with crispy chickpea croutons.
Next part of the salad is the Brussels sprouts. Cut the stems off, remove any wilted outer leaves, and quarter them if they are large or cut them in half if they are small.
Next is my favorite part, the pancetta. This gives the salad a salty delicious bite. I added it to a cast iron skillet and cooked for about 5 minutes, till it begins to crisp up.
Add the Brussels sprouts in with the pancetta and allow them to cook on the stovetop to develop a nice char. They will finish off roasting in the oven.
I roast the Brussels sprouts and pancetta in the oven for 15 minutes, taking them out halfway through to toss them around (remember the cast iron is super hot!). Once they are done roasting, remove them from the cast iron and time to assemble the salad! (Also, celebrate that the pancetta just helped season your cast iron)
Assembling the salad
In a large bowl add: romaine lettuce, roasted Brussels sprouts and crispy pancetta, and homemade croutons. For the homemade croutons, I took a baguette, sliced it into squares, tossed it in olive oil, garlic powder, dried oregano, and parmesan cheese then toasted it for 5 minutes till crisp.
If you aren’t going to serve the salad right away, wait to dress it with the caesar dressing. If you dress it in advance the salad will get soggy.
If you’re ready to serve the salad, I add some of the dressing and toss the salad using tongs to coat all the ingredients. It’s best to under dress the salad and add more if wanted after.
I hope you enjoy this fun twist on a caesar salad with roasted Brussels sprouts and crispy pancetta. Making homemade salad dressing is easy and I hope you enjoy making it too.
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Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing (Makes 1 cup)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts (rinsed, stems removed. Large ones quartered, small ones halved.)
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 heads romaine (washed, dried, and cut into 1 inch pieces (about 6 cups))
- Garnish: Additional grated parmesan cheese and lemon wedges
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Creamy Caesar Dressing
- Using a mortar and pestle, add in the anchovies and garlic. Mash until they form a paste. If you don’t have that tool, you can finely mince.
- In a food processor, add all the dressing ingredients: anchovy and garlic paste, mayo, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dijon, Worcestershire, parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper. Blend until all ingredients are combined. Taste and adjust seasoning such as salt and lemon juice. For consistency, you can add more mayo, but it will thicken once refrigerated.
- Place in refrigerator in air tight container until ready for use [see note #1]
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Rinse Brussels sprouts and trim off the ends. Remove any outer leaves that are wilting. For the larger sprouts, quarter them and the smaller ones halve. Set aside.
- In a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, add in the diced pancetta. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in the Brussels sprouts and 1 tbsp olive oil. Allow the sprouts to sear and develop a nice char for 8 minutes.
- Turn the stovetop off and place the cast iron in the oven for 15 minutes, removing and tossing the Brussels halfway through.
- Once they are done roasting, remove from the cast iron and allow them to cool while you prep the croutons and salad.
- In a small bowl add: cubed bread, 3 tbsp olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, and parmesan. Toss till coated.
- Place on a small baking sheet and place in the oven for 5 minutes until crisp.
Assemble the salad
- In a large bowl, add the romaine, Brussels sprouts/pancetta, and croutons. (If you aren’t serving right away, wait to dress the salad or the lettuce will wilt).
- When ready to serve add a few tbsp of creamy caesar dressing and toss with tongs or salad spoons to coat the leaves. It’s best to under dress the salad at first, then add more as you go.
- Serve in bowls and garnish with additional parmesan cheese over the top and optional lemon wedge on the side.
- The cream caesar dressing should be used within a week for best taste and freshness.
- If preparing in advance, you can store the individual components separately then mix together when ready to serve.
- It is better to under dress the salad, then add more as you go.