Roasted Brussels Sprouts Caesar with Pine Nuts and Parmesan Crisps

  • October 20, 2015



Active Time

20 mins

Total Time

60 mins

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  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts Caesar with Pine Nuts and Parmesan Crisps
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts Caesar with Pine Nuts and Parmesan Crisps
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts Caesar with Pine Nuts and Parmesan Crisps
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Caesar with Pine Nuts and Parmesan Crisps

This Roasted Brussels Sprouts Caesar with Pine Nuts and Parmesan Crisps recipe is the perfect version of an autumn salad. It’s served warm to keep your spirits high as the temperature falls. The parmesan crisps and toasted pine nuts add a creamy flavor and a crunchy texture to the undeniably delicious combination of crispy kale and seared Brussels sprouts. Complex flavors run rampant in this salad that will have you coming back for more again and again!


    For the Salad
  • 1.5 lbs Brussels sprouts
  • A large bunch of kale, or about 6 cups
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • Shaved parmesan
  • For the Dressing
  • A head of roasted garlic
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • The zest of a lemon
  • The juice of a lemon
  • For the Parmesan Crisps
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Special tool: silicone baking sheet or parchment paper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. To make the Roasted Brussels Sprouts Caesar, start by roasting the head of garlic to be used in the dressing. Cut off the top of the garlic and tear off a small square of tin foil. Place the garlic in the center of the foil, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and salt over the head and then wrap it loosely in the tin foil. Roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown and soft.

2. While the garlic is roasting, line a baking sheet with a silpat (silicone baking sheet liner) and measure a half cup of grated parmesan cheese. Divide the cheese into eight equal portions and space them evenly on the baking sheet in little mounds. Press down on the cheese to flatten them a little bit and place into the same preheated 400 degree oven as the garlic. Bake for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until the crisps have melted/flattened and become a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Tip: when the crisps are halfway cooled, they will still be malleable but sturdy, allowing you to easily remove them from the baking sheet without breaking them. Set aside on a plate to cool completely and crisp up.

3. Reuse the baking sheet from the parmesan crisps and spread out the pine nuts onto it. There is no need to line the baking the sheet nor grease it. Bake the pine nuts in the 400 degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the pine nuts have been toasted and are golden brown. They will burn fairly easily, so keep a close eye on them and check after 3 minutes. Once done, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set aside to cool.

4. Rinse and dry the Brussels sprouts and the kale. Tear the kale into large pieces and remove the thick part of the stem as you go. Set aside on a plate near the stove. Cut the stem-end off of each Brussels sprout and then cut them all into quarters.

5. Rinse and dry a lemon. Drag a zester across the entire fruit and then finely mince the zest. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice of the whole lemon into a mixing bowl. Add the zest to the bowl as well. When garlic has finished roasting, use an oven mitt or kitchen towel to protect your hand and unwrap the foil and squeeze out the cloves onto a cutting board. Run your knife through the garlic a couple of times to break down any large pieces, but it should be fairly soft at this point. Transfer to the mixing bowl and add in everything else in the dressing section. I would recommend adding the mayo and parmesan last so that you get the more strongly flavored ingredients thoroughly combined, allowing them to be more evenly dispersed in the dressing. Make sure to add several twists of ground black pepper and taste for salt. Depending on how salty your cheese is, you may not need any. Set aside to be used in a few steps.

6. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. If you have a hood vent, I would recommend using it because the dish is best when you get a nice sear on the Brussels sprouts and it usually causes some smoke. Once the skillet is nice and hot, add some olive oil and add the Brussels sprouts. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the Brussels are browned and softened. Temporarily transfer the cooked sprouts to a plate and keep near the stove. Using the same skillet as before, return to medium heat and add some more olive oil. This time add in all of the kale. Stir the kale somewhat constantly in the beginning so that it is all getting access to the heat and wilting as uniformly as possible. The kale will reduce in size by about half within 4 minutes or so. Taste a piece and make sure that it is softened to your preference. Return the Brussels to the skillet with the kale and turn off the heat.

7. Add about half of the dressing to the skillet and toss to thoroughly coat the vegetables. The residual heat in the pan will warm the dressing and bring all of the flavors together. Give the veggies a taste and decide if you want to add more dressing. I’m usually good at this point and I will serve the remaining half of the dressing at the table if anyone wants to add more. Divide the Brussels and kale mixture across four bowls and sprinkle over each bowl a quarter of the toasted pine nuts. Garnish each salad with two parmesan crisps and serve immediately.

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