Avocado Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing

It took a few days, but I think I am finally back on East Coast time and into my normal working schedule. It was rough at first; I could barely suppress the yawns and inclinations for narcoleptic episodes between 2-5 pm every afternoon (which would be 3-6 am Japan-time). AND there were a few nights that I woke up between 3-5 am, completely unable to go back to sleep, though I suppose I was productive with finishing The Road by Cormac McCarthy (gripping and thought-provoking) and my vacation laundry. Between the aberrant sleep, jumping right back into long days at lab, and slight cold-like symptoms (which I think I have conquered!), I sadly have not had much time or energy to spend in the kitchen or in this little online space of mine. I can’t wait to get back to trying new recipes and sharing them with you, as well as hopefully some sights and tastes from Japan!

This was a quick and easy recipe that even a sleepy sleep-deprived grad student could handle- a few fresh ingredients thrown into the food processor and taken for a spin, then poured onto a salad of three additional ingredients. The result? An awesome party of bright flavors and creamy/crunchy textures!

There was a Japanese restaurant back home in California that my family and I frequented throughout my youth that served a beloved carrot-ginger dressing that is happily VERY similar to this one. The dressing is reminiscent of ginger soy dressings, with the slight bite of fresh ginger and the nutty flavor of sesame oil, though instead of soy sauce there is miso paste for the saltiness. The carrots add body and a bit of sweetness, and the raw shallot pulls an extra bit of punch. I dressed a salad of perfectly ripe buttery Haas avocados (on sale!), mixed greens, and thinly sliced radishes. The original salad recipe called for red onions, but sometimes I find raw onions to be a bit too strong in salads, so I substituted crunchy radishes that contrasted really nicely with the creamy avocados and dressing. Paired with some home-made pizza, and it was a filling dinner that I cannot wait to enjoy for lunch!

As I am copying the recipe for this dressing, I am realizing that I totally overlooked the directions for the order of processing the ingredients… that just goes to show you the state of my post-vacation mind. So here are the directions, which I did NOT follow, as I just threw everything together into the processor and processed away until it made dressing. It still tasted awesome.

Carrot Ginger Dressing
adapted from Smitten Kitchen, via

makes about 1 cup of dressing

1-2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup neutral oil

  1. Add the carrots, shallot, and ginger in a blender or food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Scrape down the sides, then add the miso, vinegar, and sesame oil. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in the oil and water.
  1. theyellowpage posted this