If there was ever an all-American salad, it would surely be the caesar. Here, the caesar is still very much the king of all salads, a menu staple. But to be honest, in a country where food fads are born and where bigger is better but bolder is best, it always surprises me that the humble caesar still remains the most common salad option at dining establishments.
While a classic Caesar is not the most inventive of salads, I actually love the concept. It’s loaded with such delicious things – garlic, parmesan, lemon and my beloved salad accessory, croutons. With today’s caesar recipe, I have lovingly taken the bones of this famous Italo-American creation and injected it with a bit of vegetable magic. Gone is the lettuce, and in sashays Brussels sprouts, grated thinly and teamed with creamy borlotti beans and topped off with Vitamin E-packed sunflower seeds.
As with most salads, the secret in turning an everyday caesar into one with serious swagger is the dressing. There are no raw egg or anchovies in this dressing. Rather, my mellow, pleasantly umami sauce is created using the best, creamiest store-bought whole egg mayonnaise you can find (I’m partial to S&W or British favourite Hellman’s), teamed with a heap of sweet roasted garlic, a spot of sour cream for balance, capers for a briny blast and a good squeeze of lemon for zest. For me, this dressing is so simple and good, I wouldn’t go back to whisking egg yolks!
This recipe is from Hetty’s new book ‘Neighbourhood’ (RRP $39.99) published by Plum and available now from good bookstores and online here.