A few weeks ago we set out to create a dinner menu for our mom’s birthday. We are typically a family that goes out to celebrate birthdays, but in the world of Covid that isn’t possible. We wanted dinner at home to still feel special and celebratory, and settled on a combination of a catered platter of sushi and a few homemade accompaniments. If you know our mom, you know vegetables are always a priority. We set out to make an appetizer Japanese salad, which is one of our favorites when we eat at a sushi restaurant. To make things more seasonally appropriate for a birthday in November we subbed traditional romaine for baby kale and used radishes and rainbow carrots for some color. The key to this salad, and the reason you should bookmark it, is the miso dressing. It. Is. So. Good. It is the perfect mix of umami, tangy, and savory flavors that bring all of our favorite Japanese flavors to the forefront. We double this recipe so that we can have it as a pantry ingredient. In addition to this salad, it is great drizzled over roasted vegetables, grilled steak, or tossed with chilled noodles.
Japanese Winter Salad with Miso Dressing
Ingredients for the Salad
- 6 cups lightly packed baby kale, stems removed
- 4 rainbow baby carrots, peeled with a julienne peeler
- 4-5 large radishes, thinly sliced and stem discarded
- 1 avocado, cut into large segments
- 2 scallions, sliced on a bias
Ingredients for the Dressing
- 1/4 cup white miso
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tbs rice vinegar
- 2 tbs sesame oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (or any neutral oil)
- Make the salad by preparing all of the vegetables and layering them in the order they are listed on a serving platter.
- Make the dressing by combining the miso – water in a blender until the garlic and ginger are mostly smooth. With the blender running, add the avocado oil in a steady stream until it has been fully combined with the rest of the dressing. If the dressing too thick for your liking, add another 1-2 tablespoons of water to get it to the thickness you desire .
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.