The second instalment in my Autumn Salad series is this Japanese style Autumn Vegetable & Quinoa Miso Salad. The key flavour in the salad comes from the miso dressing which is made with miso paste, sesame seed oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, ginger and honey. The flavour of this dressing is a balance between sweet, acidic, salty and hot with the miso paste also providing that much sought after savoury umami flavour.
If you are not familiar with miso, this recipe is a great chance for you to give it a go. Miso is a paste that is made by fermenting soybeans with salt and a mold called koji that is cultivated from either a barley or rice base. The miso is then aged and is used as a base for flavouring in Japanese cooking. It can be bought in most whole food shops, health shops and larger supermarkets. I’m using barley miso in this recipe which is slightly sweet in flavour. Miso can also be used to make broths such as in this recipe for Vegetable Pot Noodles, to roast vegetables and to marinate meat and fish. Trust me, once you start using miso in your cooking, it will become a cupboard staple.
I think most people find it easier to eat raw vegetables in the summer time but for anyone who wishes to continue to eat a mixture of raw and cooked vegetables right through the winter, the key is to combine them with other warming ingredients. Think dressing made from ginger, chilli, cardamom, etc., cooked grains and legumes such as quinoa or roasted chickpeas. Other ingredients such as meat, fish and cheeses can also be added.
I made this recipe last week and used lots of vegetables that I picked up from the market; radishes, pak choi, carrots, scallions and broccoli. As the season moves into late Autumn and Winter, just swap in different vegetables to suit the season. The key with eating raw vegetables, is how they are prepped; I favour grating them, chopping them finely and spiralising them to allow them to soak up more of the dressing and to make them easier to eat.
Finally, I’ve added quinoa and edamame beans to this salad for protein. Edamame beans are green soy beans in their pods. Most wholefood stores, Asian supermarkets and even regular supermarkets sell frozen edamame beans. They come in the pods. Cook them in the pods, but once cooked remove from the pods and discard the pods.
1/3 cup quinoa
1 head of pak choi
½ head of broccoli
1/3 cup quinoa
½ cup edamame bean pods
For the dressing:
2 tbsp miso paste
1-2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp sesame seeds, dry toasted
Place the quinoa in a saucepan and cover with 2/3 cup of boiling water. Bring to a boil on the hob, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for approx. 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for five minutes before using a fork to fluff it up. Set to one side.
To cook the edamame beans, place the frozen edamame in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then drain in a colander or sieve and run under cold water to cool. Remove the beans from their bods and set to one side.
Trim and wash the pak choi and slice it into thin strips. Trim the spring onions and chop them finely.
Top and tail the carrot and wash well. Using a grater attachment on a food processor or a box grater, grate finely.
Top and tail the radishes and wash them and cut into very fine slices, using either a sharp knife, a mandolin or the slicing attachment on a food processor.
Slice the broccoli florets into fine slices.
Add all of the prepared vegetables to a large bowl along with the quinoa.
To makes the dressing, just add all of the ingredients and whisk well. Add the dressing to the vegetables and quinoa and toss well to ensure the vegetables are well coated with the dressing.
Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Serve immediately or keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.