miso dressing

January 31, 2012

Andrew and I have often said that miso is so good, we think it could change the world. With its salty taste and buttery texture, this fermented paste super-charges soups, salads, and marinades alike. I tend to buy the mellow yellow rice version, but barley miso and soybean miso are equally tasty. Here’s a simple miso dressing that I’m particularly fond of on a mixed green salad with shredded carrot, green onions, and tamari pumpkin seeds.

3/4 cup organic rice miso

3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsps toasted sesame oil

3 tbsps brown rice or apple cider vinegar

3 tsps maple syrup

6 tbsps water

1 1/2 tsps tamari

Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk briskly until well blended. Keep in a jar in the fridge for salads, marinades, or drizzled over steamed kale. If you want to thin it out, simply add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches desired consistency.

This is kind of a funny story. Last fall on a dreary, cold night I pulled out a recipe for salad dressing, made it, loved it, got the super-endorsement from Bekah, and then promptly forgot where I had found the recipe. I looked everywhere. Riffled through each and every cookbook I owned. Nowhere to be found. Every couple of months I would look again because it was driving me crazy (and because Bekah was on my case!). I finally gave up, deciding I had dreamt it. Well, finally on Sunday night I found it again in vegan yum yum. And I’m promptly posting it so that I never lose it again and so that you, too, my trusty followers, can enjoy its nuances. Great on a tender green salad with cranberries, toasted pecans, and sliced pear. But be creative. And enjoy.

This recipe doesn’t make much. I would double it and keep a jar in the fridge.

3 tbsps veganaise (or other vegan mayonnaise)

3 1/2 tsps balsamic vinegar

4 tsps toasted sesame oil

3 tsps dijon mustard

3 tbsps maple syrup

1/2 tsp salt

fresh pepper to taste

8 tbsps olive oil

Mix together the mayo, vinegar, sesame oil, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while whisking vigourously to emulsify. The oil should blend completely into the dressing and it should thicken nicely. Taste and adjust if necessary. Serve or refrigerate.

I just discovered this recipe in the (relatively) new Moosewood Cookbook called Cooking for Health. It was so good I made it two nights in a row and drizzled it liberally on an arugula salad with grilled asparagus and grilled pear. It’s sweet and thyme-y, and packed full of nutrients, particularly with the pear and apple sauce. The recipe calls for a raw pear, but since I was grilling pear for the salad anyway, I used grilled pear which was really nice – added sweetness with a little smokiness from the BBQ.

1 ripe pear, cored and chopped (and grilled)

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tbsps apple cider vinegar

2 tbsps apple or pear juice (I used apple sauce)

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1/4 tsp salt

generous dash of ground black pepper

1 small garlic clove, pressed or minced

maple syrup (I used about 1 tbsp)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy. If the dressing is too thick, add a little water or juice. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. If the chilled dressing congeals, bring it to room temperature before serving.