Growing up in the Midwest, I was not exposed to many different salad dressings. I remember selections being ranch, Italian, blue cheese and well, ranch. Ranch dressing always tasted exceptionally strong to me and I always picked blue cheese to don my greens which, I guess, is also strong – go figure. I remember being excited when this “new” dressing, balsamic vinaigrette (up in lights in my head, cue angel choir) showed up on the scene. Suddenly, I abandoned all those other creamy concoctions for this tart thin runny dressing. I started to think there must be more out there. I started to wonder where it is.
It wasn’t until after I left the Corn Belt that I truly discovered the wonderful diverse world of salad dressings and the endless possibilities for dressing up those tender greens. I started trying out all these new varieties popping up in restaurants and in stores but then, like with almost everything else in my life, I took to making my own. Making a salad dressing is simple, can be done ahead of time and you get to customize it to your tastes and what you’re serving. Plus, you’ll likely save money and won’t have any of those pesky preservatives, stabilizers and fillers from commercial dressing.
I combined two of my favorite flavors together for this creamy salad topper – avocado & miso. California is known for avocados and you can find them here year round. To me, a true California inspired meal MUST have avocado on it. They are starting to make a real showing across the country as well, so chances are, you can readily find them in your local grocery. If you love avocados as much as I do, check out my friend, Mimi’s blog, Mimi Avocado. She lives on an avocado farm with her husband and the whole family is in the business. On her blog, she shares with you her delicious recipes as well as life on the farm and tons of information and beautiful pictures of avocados.
I also have a huge place in my heart for Asian food – specifically Thai and Japanese. One of the most common flavors in Japanese cuisine is miso. Now I’m sure you’ve had miso soup and possibly miso salad dressing atop some iceberg, but let me tell you I think putting it in this dressing is now my favorite way to imbibe this fermented soybean paste. The tanginess of the miso adds a special zing to the creamy mild avocado. This dressing is incredibly easy to whip up and store if you have a personal blender like a Magic Bullet, but a regular blender will work just fine as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not waging war on ranch or any other kind of dressing. I’m just thinking there’s plenty of room for some other options and I think this is one of them.
Creamy Miso Avocado Dressing
Servings: 12 • Size: 2 Tablespoons • Weight Watcher Points+: 1
Calories: 30 • Fat: 2g • Carbs: 3g • Fiber: 1g • Protein: 1g
Sugars: 1g • Sodium: 1,370g • Cholesterol: 0mg
- 1 large avocado
- 1 ½ Tablespoons white miso paste
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 6-7 sprigs flat leaf parsley
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup cold water
Put all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Add more water as needed to thin to the consistency you like. Chill in a sealed container. Can be kept in the refrigerator up to 1 ½ weeks.
*Try it on more than just salad! Here are some ideas:
- Use as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers, chips or veggies
- Put a dollop on top of grilled fish or chicken for added flavor
- Use in place of sour cream on a baked potato or nachos
- Use as a topping for tacos or fajitas
- Toss with pasta, tomatoes and grated cheese