Every time we prepare a dish, we’re sharing a personal story — a bit of ourselves. That’s the idea behind Hetty McKinnon’s new cookbook, Neighborhood: Hearty Salads and Plant-Based Recipes from Home and Abroad. Her beautiful, down-to-earth book is packed with shareable salads and veggie-centric recipes inspired by her travels – and is one of our favorites this summer. Snag Hetty’s recipe for a genius Brussels sprout Caesar below, and pick up Neighborhood to feed all your summer entertaining needs…
The Caesar salad is very much the perfect Italian–American invention. Nowadays, every self-respecting salad-maker needs to have a Caesar recipe in their repertoire. This one is mine. This Caesar shamelessly delivers flavor while also offering a nutritional punch — there are raw Brussels sprouts from the antioxidant-rich brassica family, teamed with health-kicking borlotti beans, and vitamin E–packed sunflower seeds.
Brussels Sprout Caesar with Borlotti Beans + Sunflower Seeds
½ lb stale bread, torn into 1-in chunks
1–2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 cups borlotti beans (about 1 1/2 15-oz cans), drained
½ small red onion, very finely sliced
½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup basil leaves, roughly torn
½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
¼ cup Parmesan, shaved
sea salt and black pepper
For the caesar dressing:
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled, plus ½ garlic clove, very finely chopped (optional)
1 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
⅓ cup sour cream
1 Tbsp salted capers, rinsed and chopped
juice of ½ lemon
sea salt and black pepper
Brussels sprouts: kale
Borlotti beans: chickpeas, cannellini beans, or any other canned legume
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Coat the bread in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread over a large baking tray in a single layer and bake in the oven until golden, about 15–20 minutes, turning every now and then to make sure the croutons are evenly browned and crisp on all sides. Cool.
While the croutons are baking, make the Caesar dressing. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in the oven and cook for 20–25 minutes until they are very soft. Remove from the oven and peel off the skins, then mash the soft garlic flesh with the back of a fork and mix it together with the mayonnaise, sour cream, capers, lemon juice, and 3–4 teaspoons of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper and — if you like it more garlicky — add half a very finely chopped raw garlic clove.
Using a mandoline or the grater attachment on the food processor, very finely slice the Brussels sprouts.
Combine the Brussels sprouts with the borlotti beans, red onion, herbs and half the sunflower seeds. Add the Caesar dressing, season with salt and pepper, and mix everything well to make sure the ingredients are well coated. Leave the salad to sit for 15–20 minutes to allow the Brussels sprouts to soften and the flavors to meld together. To serve, fold through the croutons and sprinkle over the Parmesan shavings and remaining sunflower seeds.
From Neighborhood by Hetty McKinnon © 2016 by Hetty McKinnon. Photography © 2016 by Luisa Brimble. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. www.roostbooks.com