Friday, 20 March 2015

Recipe: Avocado & Blush Orange Salad with Miso Yogurt Dressing

It is difficult trying to feed a family, trying to find meals that all of you will eat and enjoy. Since the beginning of the week, my Father has been away, so my Mother and I have really been going to town eating the foods that we like to eat, without having to cater to his tastes. Sorry Daddy! We started in Waitrose on the Monday morning, filling our trolley with salads, vegetables and fresh fish. Think bright, fresh and colourful!
Avocado, Blush Orange & Pea Shoot Salad with Miso Yogurt Dressing
Avocado & Blush Orange Salad with Miso Yogurt Dressing
I've had this recipe for Anna Jones' California Miso Avocado Salad open on my Macbook since it appeared on 101 Cookbooks at the beginning of the month. The thing that really held my interest was the dressing. It does not contain any oil, just yogurt, brown rice miso paste, soy sauce, brown rice wine vinegar and fresh lime juice. They're pretty much things I always have in my fridge, switching out a few things so that I did not have to pick up any ingredients I did not know what other recipes I'd use them it. I used 0% Total Greek Yogurt instead of the natural yogurt in the recipe, and usual rice wine vinegar instead of brown, and the result was delicious, fresh, umami and interesting. Unlike any salad dressing I've had before, and very addictive.
Brita Water Filter Bottle
Sidetracking from the salad for the moment, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to the newest addition to my workspace when I'm editing photos, typing up recipes and completing dreaded paperwork. When I'm at home I drink an awful lot of water while I'm working. When I was in Los Angeles I had one of those fancy fridges with ice and water at the front. In London, I tried one of those bubble shaped filter bottles which was okay and made London tap water taste okay, but got rather battered rather quickly.

Here on the farm we've had some sort of Brita water filter (first a stand alone filter, now a fridge door jug) for as long as I can remember, but I'm pretty clumsy. I'll admit to once ruining a MacBook Pro by accidentally spilling a glass of water! Recently Brita were kind enough to send me one of their Fill & Go bottles which I've really been loving. It holds a lot of liquid, so I don't have to keep on getting up to refill my glass from the fridge, and as long as I remember to fill it up and leave it in the fridge when I'm not using it, I never run out of something cold to drink. The bottles cost about £9.99, and come with a pack of filters, which cost about £7.99 to buy a new tube of. Not bad for keeping you hydrated with nice, clean tasting water at your desk, right? And there is not a chance that you'll spill it on your computer like some idiots we know!
Avocado & Orange Salad with Miso Yogurt Dressing Avocado & Blush Orange Salad with Miso & Yogurt Dressing
I think I've had avocado blood salad on the brain since this salad appeared in the same week on Shutterbean. While blood oranges are not that easy to come by outside of London (I lugged a bag full back on the train fro Borough Market when they first came in season to make sorbet!), you can buy bags of blush oranges, slightly less red but just as sweet and interesting in Waitrose (Waitrose are not sponsoring this post, promise!) Another great addition that is something a little less than normal to this salad are the pumpkin seeds. I know they're normal in salads, so the first time I made this, when I felt it needed a bit more crunch I just sprinkled them on. Then the idea came to me, next time I tried it to blister and toast them in a dry frying pan first. Not only do they look prettier, but they have a wonderful nutty flavour prepared this way. I've made the salad below to serve two people, but it is easily halved; just enjoy a whole avocado to yourself instead!

  • 1/2 tbsp Brown Rice Miso Paste (I use Clearspring)
  • 1/2 tbsp Rice Vinegar 
  • 1/2 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • Juice of 1/4 Lime
  • 2 tbsp Greek Yogurt (I use Total 0%)
  • 1 Small Cos Lettuce, shredded 
  • 2 Spring Onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal 
  • 1 Small Handful Mangetout or Sugar Snap Peas, halved on the diagonal 
  • 2 Generous Handfuls Pea Shoots 
  • 1 Ripe Avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2 Blush or Blood Oranges, segmented (this is how you segment do it)
  • 1 Handful Pumpkin Seeds

First, make the dressing by whisking together the miso, rice vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice and greek yogurt in a small bowl. I like it just as, but you may want to add a little more lime juice or a pinch of salt to taste; different brands of soy and miso paste vary in how salty they are. 

Prepare your pumpkin seeds by setting a small frying pan over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the pumpkin seeds, and toss around every minute or so. The skins should start to split and pop; keep going until they just start to brown, then remove from the heat. Don't worry, they don't turn and burn as suddenly and as quickly as if you were tasting nuts this way as they don't have the same oils in them!

In a large bowl, toss the cos together with half the dressing until all of the leaves are well coated, and place them in the bottom of the bowls you're planning on eating your salad out of. Next, sprinkle over the diagonal cut spring onions and mangetout. For the onions, this helps with the flavour and texture of the salad using these cuts, for the peas it just looks pretty! 

Next, divide the pea shoots between the two bowls, then decorate (salads must always be pretty) with the avocado pieces and orange segments. Sprinkle with the crispy seeds, and finish off with a good drizzle of the remaining dressing. Serve immediately. 

Apparently today is the first day of Spring. I contest this, because I like to follow the other date we're told is the first day of Spring; tomorrow, March 21st because it also happens to be my birthday. But regardless, I now officially announce the start of salad season! On this vein, see also my Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado Chopped Salad with Homemade Skinny Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, and my Wood Pigeon Salad with a Raspberry Balsamic Reduction.


  1. When I see recipes like this I wish I liked avocado! Any ideas what I could replace it with?

  2. Well, thinking about the firm texture and creaminess, something that would go with the flavours, I'd guess cubed halloumi? I don't know for sure as I don't eat it, but I can't see why not?

    But give avocado another go - I never used to like it and now I'm obsessed!

  3. This looks delicious! I am always looking for new ways to try avocado so will have to try this next!

    Maria xxx