Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fried Brussel Sprouts Caesar Salad with Radicchio, Baby Arugula, and Crispy Capers Tossed in Homemade Caesar Vinaigrette in a Parmesan Frico Bowl

Fried Brussel Sprouts Caesar Salad 
I promise that I am almost out of recipes from our anniversary celebration. And I can finally get to posting some tailgatin' recipes and autumn-inspired dishes. Soup will definitely be on the menu... and some hearty comfort food as well. Until then, here's my unique take on a Caesar Salad. I don't especially love Caesar Salads, but every now & then, I kinda get the craving for them. So why not change up that plain ole' salad and give it a fancy restaurant kick? Well besides brown butter... I'd say that fried brussel sprouts have to be one of my favorite dishes ever. I mean it, they're the best. So nutty, crispy, and delicious. I urge you to give them a try, even if it's just for a small snack. Add in some peppery arugula and bitter radicchio... it's a winning combination. For serving, I made large Parmesan Frico's that I inverted over a bowl, so they could be personal serving platter on the plate. One word... amazing. Have y'all ever had Parmesan Frico's? They are like the crispy cheese bits on a pizza crust. And why not add some fried capers, crispy pancetta, toasted walnuts, and homemade dressing? Ain't nothin' better. I know this is quite the complicated salad, but when you're celebrating, that's what you should do. And hey, you can always turn this into an entree and top with some protein!! Enjoy :)
Such pretty colors...
For the Caesar Vinaigrette:
½C Olive Oil
4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced into a Paste
¼C Fresh Lemon Juice
1t Worcestershire
4oz Freshly Grated Parmesan
1t Anchovy Paste
2 Eggs
Salt & Fresh Cracked, To Taste

For the Parmesan Frico Bowl:
½C Freshly Grated Parmesan (for each Frico bowl)

For the Fried Brussel Sprouts Caesar Salad:
2lb Brussel Sprouts, Trimmed & Halved
2C Baby Arugula
1 Small Radicchio, Thinly Sliced or Shaved
Parmesan, Freshly Shaved (to your liking)
Crispy Pancetta or Bacon Lardons (to your liking)
Crispy Fried Capers (to your liking)
Toasted Walnuts or Pine Nuts (to your liking)
Prepared Caesar Vinaigrette
Prepared Parmesan Fico Bowls

1. For the Caesar Vinaigrette: In a very large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and garlic. Let it sit and infuse the oil for 30 minutes. Add the anchovies and eggs to the garlic oil. Whisk it until it is creamy. Add in the salt and pepper, along with ¼C lemon juice. Whisk in half of the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. For the Parmesan Frico Bowl: In a small non-stick sauté pan cover the bottom with a layer of Parmesan. Wait a couple minutes for the cheese to melt and turn golden brown. Carefully remove the cheese from the pan and place over a small inverted bowl or cup so that it takes on the shape of the bowl. Cool for 30 seconds then remove.
3. For the Fried Brussel Sprouts Caesar Salad: Pour enough oil into a medium pot so that the oil comes 3 inches up the sides. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Working in batches, deep-fry the Brussels sprouts until the edges begin to curl and brown, about 3 minutes. To the last batch, add the capers (stand back-the capers will pop and sputter!). Give the contents of the pot a stir. When the color of the capers becomes a deeper, more saturated shade of green, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, remove the contents of the pot with a skimmer and place directly in the bowl of dressing.
4. Add in the baby arugula, shaved radicchio, and all of the other desired toppings that you like. Toss with the dressing to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Place a Parmesan Frico on a plate and spoon the tossed salad into the bowl. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese. Enjoy immediately while the brussel sprouts are still crispy.


  1. Just made it! Came out AMAZING!!! :) thank you coming up with such delicious recipe!

    1. So glad to hear that it came out well for you! It is certainly an odd "caesar" salad, but I think the combination pays off! I hope that my recipes will work out for you in the future :)