Miso is a fermented soybean paste, originated in China, perfected in Japan, that gives this lemon vinaigrette an incredibly satisfying sweet-salty-nutty flavor known as “umami.” Miso is available at most supermarkets in the international food section or in the freezer or refrigerator with other soy products. This recipe calls for the most versatile of the three popular grades of miso — “white” or “yellow” miso, also called shiso in the Japanese tradition. Other recipes for using miso can be found on this website, search under “miso.” This recipe was demoed at USBG October 9, 2014.
For the vinaigrette
2 T unseasoned rice vinegar
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T finely chopped shallot
1 t garlic, mashed to a paste
2 T white (shiro) miso
½ C plus 2 Tbs. neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
½ t Asian hot sauce, such as Sriracha (optional)
For the salad
1 lb. trimmed medium beets, cooked and peeled
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. arugula or mixed baby greens (8 packed cups)
2 crisp apples, such as Gala, Crispin, or Granny Smith, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
½ C walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 T chopped fresh dill
Make the dressing
In a small bowl or food processor, whisk the rice vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, and garlic; let sit for 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the miso, and then slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Stir in the hot sauce, if using.
Make the salad
Halve and thinly slice beets; arrange on a platter or salad plates and lightly season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, combine the arugula and apples, and season with salt and pepper. Toss with ½ C of the vinaigrette. Mound the greens and apples on top of the beets, sprinkle with the walnuts and dill, and serve.