Caesar sprouts

I recently tested out a broccoli Caesar salad recipe that my friend (and v talented recipe writer and chef) Sophie wrote, and it was delicious – something about the pairing of the roasted broccoli with the rich, salty, umami Caesar dressing just really worked, so I’ve been thinking about doing something similar with Brussels sprouts ever since.

Think you don’t like sprouts? Let me change your mind. Seriously, I hate to toot my own horn, but these were genuinely the best sprouts I’ve ever eaten. Combining crispy-edged, tender roasted sprouts with a creamy, salty, Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons and parmesan is a real game changer. It makes a really great side for a roast chicken dinner, but I also discovered that it’s absolutely DELICIOUS re-worked into a pasta dish. So, scroll down to find a bonus recipe for my Ceasar sprout spaghetti! Two for the price of one guys, you’re welcome.

Caesar sprouts

Prep: 5-10 mins
Cook 15-20 mins

Serves 4 as a side

500g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
olive oil
1-2 slices of crusty white bread

For the Caesar dressing:
50ml olive oil
1 medium egg yolk
3 anchovies (from a tin of anchovies in oil), finely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
a lemon (1tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus extra to serve)
1 small garlic clove (or half a big one)
10g parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/200 fan. Lay your sprouts out on a roasting tray, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and toss with your hands until coated. Roast for 15-20 mins, until crisp around the edges and tender in the middle. Shake the tray halfway.
  2. Meanwhile, rip your bread into small chunks, put on a separate baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. After your sprouts have been roasting for 5 mins or so, put your bread in the oven to crisp up (for around 10 mins – until golden and crunchy).
  3. While your sprouts and bread are in the oven, make the Caesar dressing. First, measure 50ml olive oil into a jug. In a mini food processor or blender, add the egg yolk, chopped anchovies, Dijon mustard a 1 tbsp lemon juice and a twist of black pepper. Using a fine grater, grate in the garlic clove, followed by the parmesan. Add a drizzle of olive oil then blitz until it forms a paste. Then, keep blitzing whilst gradually adding more olive oil, until it’s all used up and you’re left with a smooth, thick dressing. If it’s really thick (too thick for drizzling) then add a 1-2 tbsp warm water. Taste and season if necessary, but it should be very salty from the anchovies and parmesan – add more lemon if you like.
  4. Once your Brussels sprouts are crisped up and tender and your croutons are golden brown and crunchy, remove them both from the oven.
  5. Toss your sprouts in about half of the Caesar dressing, reserving some for drizzling over afterwards. Tip them into a bowl and top with the crunchy croutons, a fine grating of parmesan and another drizzle of dressing. Serve as a side and/OR make sprout spaghetti…

Caesar sprout spaghetti

When I wrote this recipe and had leftovers which I decided to add to hot spaghetti, AND IT WAS DELICIOUS. Thus, Caesar sprout spaghetti was born.

Caesar sprout spaghetti

Prep: as above
Cook: as above, plus pasta cooking time

Serves 2

180g spaghetti (normal or wholewheat works well too)
half of Caesar sprouts, croutons + dressing (from recipe above)

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and salt it heavily. Add your spaghetti and cook for 1 min less than the time it says on the packet.
  2. Once your spaghetti is cooked, drain it (reserving a mugful of pasta water) and put back in the pan. To your spaghetti, add around 2 tbsp of your leftover Caesar dressing and stir to coat – add some pasta water to loosen if it’s looking claggy rather than silky and delicious.
  3. Chuck in half your roasted, Ceasar sprouts and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Pile your Caesar sprout spaghetti into two bowls, squeeze over some lemon and grate over some parmesan, then break up your hot, crunchy croutons and sprinkle those over too. Devour.

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