You may know by now that there are few things I love more when cooking than finding inspiration from something I have on hand or that might go to waste.
The other day, while I was doing a little spring cleaning, I unearthed a jar of miso from the back of the fridge. It’s not the first time I’ve bought a jar of miso to make a particular dish, only to forget about it soon thereafter.
The weather was a little too warm for soup, so my mind (and stomach) wandered toward cool and crisp in the form of a salad with miso dressing.
This salad starts with a bed of pungent Asian greens. To that I add the odd-ball vegetable kohlrabi for a juicy crunch. (Don’t worry if you can’t find kohlrabi at the market, you can always substitute radish.)
Quick pickled summer squash lends a nice acid note. It's also a great way to use up extra squash that might be lying around. (Come summer, I'm always looking for ways to use up extra squash.)
The sesame miso dressing adds a good dose of umami and ties it all together. Here I use shiro miso, or white miso, for its mild, delicate flavor. Maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness, and lemon brightens everything up. (This dressing also pairs well with cooked vegetables or a bowl of soba noodles, so you may want to make extra.)
A sprinkle of gomashio – a Japanese condiment made with sesame seeds – or a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds provides the perfect accent.
I’ll be making this salad all summer long.
Adapted from Mountain View Farm
1 bunch mixed Asian greens (e.g., bok choy, tat soi, komatsuna, mizuna)
Quick pickled summer squash
1 kohlrabi bulb, peeled and diced (leaves, if tender, can be mixed in with the other greens)
Gomashio or toasted sesame seeds
Toss together greens, pickled squash and kohlrabi. Dress with sesame-miso dressing. Sprinkle with seeds.