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Warm Brussels salad with bacon croutons

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By: Tiffany Freeman
In the last year or so brussel sprouts have made an insurgence in the culinary world. While many have shunned away from the baby cabbages in the past; whether because of a childhood trauma or just plain stubbornness; trying them again was a no go! But after years of avoiding them you have to admit, they have piqued your interest. A quick and easy recipe has been found that just might change your mind. How you might ask, because it includes BACON…BACON people! Bacon makes anything and everything taste divine. After trying this recipe you may officially become a convert…myself included. Try it out. Good Eats

Warm Brussels Caesars with Bacon Ciabatta Croutons

Ingredients:

• 2 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
• 1 cup ciabatta bread cubes (or any crusty bread)
• ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 lb. brussel sprouts, sliced and stems removed
• 1 pinch of salt
• 1 pinch of pepper
• Freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Yogurt Caesar Dressing
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
• 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
• 4 anchovies, minced
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon pepper
• ½ lemon, juiced
• ½ cup olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the bread crumbs on a baking sheet.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crispy and the fat has rendered, then remove the bacon and place on a paper towel. Pour the bacon grease from the skillet over the bread cubes and toss well. Sprinkle with garlic powder and toss once more. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until cubes are golden brown, tossing once or twice while cooking.
3. Return the skillet to the burner and heat over med-high heat, some residual bacon grease will be in the skillet. Add the brussel sprouts with the salt and pepper and stir well. Add a drop of olive oil if needed. Cook the brussel sprouts until warm and slightly soft, about 5-6 minutes.
4. Remove the brussel sprouts from the skillet and toss with a few spoonfuls of the Caesar dressing. Add the bacon and croutons and serve.

***To make the dressing, add all the ingredients except the olive oil into the food processor and blend until pureed. With the processor still on, stream in the olive oil until a creamy dressing forms. Stir well before using. The dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Reference:
1. Howsweeteats.com. 2014. Warm Brussels Caesars with Bacon Ciabatta Croutons, http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/02/warm-brussels-caesar-with-bacon-ciab... . (accessed on February 05, 2014)

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