My friend Mary Anne and I don’t get to have lunch as often as we’d like, but when we make a date we only have to pick a day and time, because there is no question about where we will be eating. The location is always Japonica, near Union Square in New York City, which is one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in the city (and that’s saying a lot). I always have the chirashi, and she ways gets the sliced avocado appetizer with a creamy miso dressing to start and then some sushi to follow. And she always offers me a couple of bites of her avocado, and I always accept.
So I decided to try and recreate her favorite dish, so that we can both have it at home, but I’m going on the record to say that this DOES NOT MEAN we can have lunch any fewer times per year. 1) I love our lunches. 2) I’m never going to make chirashi at home.
What Mary Anne and I talk about changes – kids, work, travel – but the place and the menu stay the same. If a foolish consistency is in fact the hobgoblin of little minds, then once or twice a year, we are quite satisfied with our foolish lunches.
Avocado Salad with Creamy Miso Dressing
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger peeled
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Ponzu sauce or rice vinegar see Note
- 1 tablespoon honey see Note
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 cups mixed baby greens or shredded romaine
- 2 Hass avocados
- In a blender of a food processor combine the ginger, oil, water, miso, lemon juice, Ponzu or rice vinegar, honey, garlic, and pepper.
- Pile the greens on four small places. Cut the avocados in half, remove the peel, and slice the halves crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Fan out each avocado half over the greens, and drizzle the dressing evenly over each avocado and the lettuce (yes, it seems fussy, but it looks awesome, and that’s how they do it at Japonica, and that’s how I’m doing it at my house).
Note:Instead of doing a combo of the rice vinegar and the lemon juice or Ponzu go ahead and choose just one of these items, and use 2 tablespoons. You will still get a wonderful dressing, just with fewer ingredients. Ponzu sauce is available in Asian markets, and in the Asian aisle of many well stocked supermarkets. Also, I have been finding as many ways to use this ginger syrup as possible – the ginger flavor is delicate, and is has a honey-like sweetness, so if you are so inclined, use it instead of the honey, and do let me know if you love it.
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