This is my favorite, new salad dressing. It is colorful, complex and exploding with flavor. It gussies up the simple lettuce leaf or the hearty grain, turning anything it touches to gold. Really, it does. It tastes like the dressing you get on that little starter salad at a Japanese restaurant except it’s one thousand times better. One thousand! That’s a whole lot better.
This recipe is a whiz of fresh ingredients – carrots, shallot, ginger. I’d never made a dressing with miso before and I think it lends a balance that is often lacking in others. Balance is always good. I tend to sway on the extreme vinegar side of the dial. I’ve been known to have a bottle of balsamic on my office desk to drizzle on almost anything savory at my leisure. I ran out a couple of months ago and now Tapatio stands in balsamic’s place, acidic and brown replaced with spicy and red.
*Apologies for the lame photos. My tried and true camera broke and so I’ve been using my iPhone. On top of that, the above photo is a staged pick. Every time eat something blessed with this dressing, I inhale it and remember to take a photo when I’ve got about two bites left. I will do better next time.*
I first read about this dressing on Smitten Kitchen, who got it from Gwyneth at GOOP. I could drink it straight, but it’s even better with food. SK recommends it with a simple butter lettuce and avocado salad. I first tried it with mixed greens, brown rice and avocado for a heartier, lunchtime affair. I want to try it with poached fish or chicken. You should try it with whatever you want. On ice cream. I dare you. Could be a hot, new artisanal flavor – Tahitian Vanilla with Golden Miso Swirl. Maybe not.
Serves 4, with dressing to spare
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sweet white miso
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1/4 cup grapeseed or another neutral oil
2 tablespoons water
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 grapeseed oil and the water.
Drizzle anything you desire with plenty of dressing and serve.