Winter Caesar Salad with Kale & Brussels Sprouts
- 6 large kale leaves or 10 - 12 smaller leaves
- 6 - 8 brussels sprouts
- sourdough croutons see below
- shaved parmesan for serving
- 1 large garlic clove
- 2 - 3 anchovies
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- small handful finely grated parmesan
- approx. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- cracked pepper
- Wash the kale and shake well to mostly dry. Remove the leaves by holding the stalk tightly in one hand and running your other hand swiftly along the stalk to break off the leaves. Finely shred the greens with a sharp knife and place in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and use your hands to rub and massage the kale. Finely shred the brussels sprouts using a mandolin or sharp knife and toss with the kale.
- Make the dressing. Squash the garlic with the flat edge of a large knife and slide the clove out of the skin. Place in a shallow salad bowl, add a pinch of salt and use the tines of a fork to crush and soften against the bottom of the bowl. Add the anchovies and keep mashing into a paste. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, cheese and cracked pepper, and combine. Slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking constantly. Check the flavour, adding extra lemon juice if needed. When ready to serve add the greens to the bowl and toss well to coat. Scatter with croutons and shaved parmesan, and if you are game, a few extra anchovies can be draped over the salad.
This is a great use for stale bread. Chop bread into 1cm cubes. Heat 1 teaspoon ghee and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat. Once hot toss the croutons until golden, tip into a bowl to cool.
The recipe I share today is a combination of a well-known salad with a winter twist. Our garden slows down considerably over the winter months with the lower sun hours and temperatures. Luckily in late summer I filled every available garden space with silver beet, kale, cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts so we have a pretty steady supply of winter goodness plus tender salad greens from the glasshouse. This year is the first year I have grown brussels sprouts and what fun! The little baby cabbages grow along the stalk hidden away under the canopy of leaves. Check out the photo below.
I realise brussels sprouts aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but this salad is something special. Tender kale tossed with finely shredded sprouts and dressed in a bold and creamy Caesar dressing. The dressing is made the authentic way using a fork to mash and whisk directly in the bowl the salad is to be served. I still remember learning how to make a true Caesar dressing at my first ever chef job (at Lambretta’s in Nelson). Usually we would make a large batch in a food processor but every now and again if we ran out of dressing during service my Italian boss would whip up the dressing in a bowl. It really is worth a go even if you are not feeling game for the kale and brussels simply replace with the more traditional shredded cos (romaine) lettuce.