I have a love/hate relationship with restaurants. I love trying new foods, but hate the heavy cost, of both funds and calories, that typically go hand-in-hand with restaurant meals. Plus, as I get more adventurous in the kitchen, I feel that I can make it better, cheaper, and healthier if I have the time to experiment. A year ago, I thought Japanese cuisine was impossible to make in my own kitchen, but after getting a few staples, it is easy to make tasty Japanese meals at home.
This post is all about the carrot-ginger-miso appetizer salad you find ubiquitously in Japanese restaurants. I never thought of making it myself until I saw it on Smitten Kitchen, who proclaimed it to be the best salad after adapting it from Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP.com. Whiz together a couple of ingredients in your food processor or blender and you have a silky, spicy, creamy, zesty and salty dressing in one. Use it to top lettuce and avocado for a wholesome, delicious, complex veggie treat prior to your main meal.
This is my submission to this month’s Veggie/Fruit A Month featuring avocados, to this week’s Weekend Wellness, to this month’s Vegetable Marathon featuring carrots as well as to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays (which also includes salads).
Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1/4 cup neutral oil (I used canola)
2 tablespoons water
1 small/medium head of lettuce or mixed greens of your choice (I used Romaine)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, quartered
1. Whiz the carrots, shallot and ginger in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, then add the miso, vinegar and sesame oil. While the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil and the water.
2. Divide the lettuce among four bowls, add some of the onion and a quarter of the avocado. Drizzle with plenty of dressing and serve.
Serves 4, with dressing to spare.