Salad dressings are so simple to make from scratch that I don't buy bottled versions anymore. But there are some nights when even the act of measuring out vinegar and oil just seems like too much. I am careful about oil and vinegar dressings; I don't eyeball the measurements, and I find them surprisingly time-consuming to get just right sometimes.
If I want something even faster and more foolproof than a basic vinaigrette, I pull out the tub of miso and whatever fresh citrus is on hand to mix up a batch of the quickest, easiest, most delicious dressing I know.
Yes, regular vinaigrette is also pretty quick, easy, and foolproof, but making it usually involves measuring to get the right proportion of acid to oil, as well adjusting the seasoning to taste. Miso-citrus dressing, on the other hand, involves putting a dab of miso paste in a bowl, adding a squeeze of fresh citrus juice, and stirring. The balance of flavors is almost always perfect. Done.
Any combination of miso paste and citrus works. White miso paste with orange juice is sweet and mild, while the mixture of red miso and lime is powerful and tart. Yellow miso and lemon juice is a particular favorite — versatile enough to go with nearly any type of salad.
This is the sort of thing that barely needs a recipe, but here is a basic template. Do you have any other last-minute salad dressing recommendations?
Easy Miso-Citrus Dressing
Makes 1/4 cup dressing
2 teaspoons miso paste
2 to 3 tablespoons citrus juice, from one lime or lemon, or half an orange
Whisk the miso paste in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Whisk in about half of the juice and taste. Add the rest if desired.
Taste and add more miso or juice as needed.
Flavor Combinations to Try
- White miso paste with orange juice
- Yellow miso paste with lemon juice
- Red miso paste with lime juice
Recipe has been updated from original published May 2011.
(Image credits: Faith Durand)