When many people hear the word miso, the first thing that springs to mind is soup. Although miso certainly does make for very delicious soup, it is a versatile product that can be used in so many other ways. Like white and yellow misos, red miso is a paste made of fermented soybeans, often with the addition of rice, barley or other grains. The longer it gets fermented, the darker in colour it becomes, and the flavour deepens as well. Red miso adds a terrific touch of umami – sometimes called the fifth primary taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour – to any dish. I like to describe umami as a savoury, earthy flavour, and it’s one that appeals to my tastebuds a whole lot. Almost all the ingredients for this raw, crunchy, flavourful salad came from the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, thanks to my wintertime Farmers’ Feast challenge. The miso and sundried daikon came from Jambican Studio Gardens; the apples and cider vinegar were from Hall’s Apple Market; Roots Down Organic Farm supplied the carrots, turnip and shallot and the maple syrup was from Maple Country Sugar Bush. This miso dressing recipe would also be great on chicken or fish; you could even dilute it with stock or coconut milk to make a very quick and delicious bowl of broth.
- 5 teaspoons (23 mL) red miso
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) hot water
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) maple syrup
- 5 teaspoons (23 mL) cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly grated gingerroot
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) finely minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) finely minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) canola oil
- 1 – 2 white turnips, peeled and grated (enough for 2 cups / 500 mL grated)
- 3 – 6 organic carrots, scrubbed and grated (enough for 2 cups / 500 mL grated)
- 2 small apples, cored and thinly sliced
- Crispy garnish ideas: sundried daikon, or your favourite nuts/seeds
- In a small (1 cup / 250 mL) jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine miso and hot water. Stir to blend well.
- Add Dijon, maple syrup, cider vinegar, ginger, shallot, garlic and soy sauce. Cover with the lid and shake vigorously until well blended.
- Add sesame and canola oils; cover and shake until emulsified.
- Put grated vegetables and apple slices into a serving bowl. Drizzle dressing over top and toss to coat salad evenly.
- Top with crispy garnish of your choice and serve immediately.
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side dish.