She Made: Caesar Salad With Bacon, Brussels Sprouts and Basil

I was going to cancel my subscription to FoodNetwork Magazine.  I get so many magazines I have such a hard time keeping up with them.  Just this weekend I got caught up and I was reading magazines with Thanksgiving recipes in them!

But, well, I just couldn't stop this one.  I love making the fun cakes they have in most issues like the spaghetti and meatballs cake, the hamburger cake or the candy bar cake!

In this issue the "He Made : She Made" was Caesar salad.  The he and she were Geoffrey Zakarian and Alex Guarnaschelli.  On the FoodNetwork site you can vote for your favorite of the two recipes.  I read them both and voted for Alex just based on the recipe.  It had capers and brussels sprouts and... bacon!  It sounded so good I went out and bought the ingredients and we had it for dinner tonight.

Here is a LINK to the recipe.

The dressing is pretty simple but with one unique ingredient, caper brine!  As with most Caesar dressings it called for anchovy plus the oil from the jar.  I made the mistake of telling my hubby this.  He vetoed the anchovy.  I tried to explain it would only add a salty flavor.  No way, no how he wasn't letting me put an anchovy in the dressing.  Ok, so I left it out.  I countered with a little fish sauce, shhhhh don't tell him!

There's also bacon in the salad.  A few ounces of bacon, chopped up and fried crispy.  Everything is better with bacon, right?

And then the really cool things!  Basil.  I love basil and there's not just romaine in the salad but also leaves of basil.  Basil and bacon, how could you go wrong?

Then it gets even better!  Fried brussels sprout leaves and fried capers are added.  Fried capers, who'd a thought?  Dave and I love brussels sprouts.  We eat them at least twice a week, usually roasted.  We love the crispy leaves that fall off on the pan in the oven.  They taste a lot like popcorn.  I'm not kidding!

The recipe called for dropping the capers into the oil in a basket.  I never deep fry.  If I took up deep frying, well, I'd be huge.  I just look at deep fried foods and my pants get tighter!  So I used my skimmer.  It worked just fine!

Then the brussels sprouts leaves go in.  The recipe called for scooping them out with a slotted spoon.  What an excellent opportunity to use my Bad Ass Spoon (by Michael Ruhlman)!  If you don't have one, you really need one.  I want the Offset Spoon Trio too but I think I'm single-handedly keeping OpenSky in business so those are just going to have to wait!

All this wonderfulness is tossed together to make a salad I couldn't stop eating!  I went back for seconds.  It was delicious!  This will definitely be a staple salad for me, right up there with my honey pecan and strawberry spinach salads!

I feel much better about my vote now!  I know this is a great salad.  We had it with some yummy crab and goat cheese ravioli and fresh homemade bread but it would be wonderful with anything, grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon.  I can't wait to make it again!

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