Warm Brussels Sprouts Caesar
To make this unique side dish/salad we oven-roasted fresh brussels sprouts and tossed them in a variation on a classic Caesar dressing made with miso paste. Like anchovies, miso adds a rich, umami flavor to the dressing, but it has a mellow quality that really complements the natural sweetness of the roasted sprouts. Combined with crispy garlic croutons and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, this dish makes a great accompaniment to wide variety of simple entrées like grilled steak or pan-seared chicken.
- 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the croutons:
- 1-1/2 cups crusty bread cubes (1/2-inch)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon miso paste (see notes)
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and coat a shallow baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Place the brussels sprouts in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and transfer to the prepared baking pan.
- Roast the sprouts for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender and nicely browned. You may want to turn them with a spatula about midway through the cooking time to ensure even caramelization.
- While the sprouts roast make the croutons. Line a small baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant, 30 seconds (do not brown). Add the bread cubes and toss them with the butter mixture until it's all been absorbed, about 1 minute. Transfer the croutons to the foil-lined pan and set aside.
- To prepare the dressing, whisk the olive oil, mayonnaise, lemon juice, miso paste, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and mustard together in a small bowl. If you feel the dressing is a little too thick whisk in 1 or 2 teaspoons of water to thin it. Set aside.
- To assemble the salad, remove the brussels sprouts from the oven and turn off the heat. Place the croutons in the oven to crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Toss the sprouts with the dressing, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add the croutons, toss again and transfer to a serving dish. Top with freshly grated Parmesan and serve immediately.
If you don't want to use mayonnaise in the dressing, use the type of egg substitute that comes in a refrigerated carton. Follow the quantity recommendation for 1 egg. You can also use a pasteurized whole egg if you prefer.
About the miso paste:
Miso paste is a popular flavoring used in Japanese cooking. It is made from fermented soybeans and comes in three styles: white (shiro miso), yellow (shinshu miso) and red (aka miso).
The major difference between the styles is the length of fermentation time, which determines the flavor intensity. For our dressing, we used white (shiro) miso, which is not really white, just lighter in color (and flavor intensity) than other types of miso.
If desired, you can replace the miso paste with 4 anchovies that have been rinsed, drained and mashed or 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons of anchovy paste or 1 to 3 teaspoons Asian fish sauce.