Who decided “salad” had to be synonymous with “lettuce”? This avocado, radish and walnut salad with carrot-miso dressing from Eleanor Maidment’s cookbook, California: Living + Eating, is shaking up that definition in the best way possible.
“We often make tomato salads or lettuce salads,” Maidment writes, “but rarely is avocado allowed to sit so boldly on its own—despite us eating it with just about anything nowadays.” Substituting avocado for lettuce? Genius.
And about that irresistible dressing: “I’ve been making this dressing for years,” she continues. “I remember the first time I made it, being amazed at how raw carrot can blend into something so creamy. This makes far more dressing than you’ll need, so store the leftover dressing in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to a week and spoon over all sorts of salads, veg, fish and chicken.”
Don’t worry, Eleanor. We will.
Recipe excerpted with permission from California: Living + Eating by Eleanor Maidment, published by Hardie Grant Books, May 2019.
3½ ounces (100g) mixed radishes, rinsed
3 ripe avocados—peeled, halved and pitted
1 ounce (30g) walnuts, toasted
Large handful of chopped fresh cilantro or micro herbs (such as coriander or purple basil)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons white miso paste
1 scallion, roughly chopped
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons honey
1. Trim and thinly slice the radishes, then place them in a bowl of ice water while you prepare the rest of the salad. This will keep them crisp and give even more of a textural contrast to the avocado.
2. Make the Dressing: Place the sunflower oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, miso, scallion, garlic, carrot, ginger and honey in a blender and purée until smooth. Taste for seasoning: It should be salty and sweet in just the right balance.
3. Cut the avocado halves into thick slices or irregular shapes and arrange on a serving plate. Drizzle with some of the dressing.
4. Drain the radishes and pat them dry with paper towels, then scatter them over the avocado. Roughly break up the walnuts with your hands and sprinkle over the top, along with the herbs. Spoon over more dressing; serve the extra on the side.