Rarely do I not tweak or adapt a recipe, but this Smitten Kitchen recipe is perfection, and I haven’t changed a thing. I keep the dressing in the fridge and mix up a small batch for my lunch almost daily. Miso, a soya bean paste, isn’t something I typically cook with a lot, but you can’t substitute it with anything as it has a unique, nutty flavour. Mix up any veggies in your fridge, or purchase a bag of slaw and add your favourites to it. As the dressing is quite strongly flavoured, go easy on the dressing at first, let it sit for 5 minutes and then taste again. You can always add more dressing if needed. I top mine with a salad topper mix of dried cranberries, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and chopped nuts. Of course, you can add some grilled chicken, which becomes a healthy, easy summer meal.
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp well-stirred tahini
2 Tbsp white miso
1 Tbsp honey
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive or a neutral oil
Salt and Sriracha to taste
4 cups thinly sliced mixed carrots, cucumber, celery, bell peppers, sugar snaps, and/or snow peas
2 cups thinly sliced red, green, savoy, or napa cabbage
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
1 cup thinly sliced green onion (white and green parts)
Handful chopped fresh cilantro, if you wish
About 1 cup Miso-Sesame Dressing (above)
1 lb grilled chicken thighs, thinly sliced (optional)
Make the dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and run until smooth, scraping down sides once. You can also hand-whisk the ingredients in a bowl, but be vigorous, so the chunky ingredients smooth out. Taste and adjust ingredients to your preference.
Assemble the salad: Holding back a little of the peanuts, green onions and herbs for garnish, add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss with half of the dressing, adding some or all of the remaining dressing to taste. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle with reserved peanuts, scallions, and herbs for extra prettiness. Eat right away, or bring it somewhere wonderful in a cooler and eat it in a few hours.
Do ahead: The dressing and chopped vegetables (except the cilantro, which might wilt faster), stored separately, will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.