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A lot of salads derive their origins from an era of masking vegetables with heavy dressings laden with sugar. In the end, you don’t even notice the vegetable. Sad, right? There is a nostalgic place for those salads, but I want to taste and feel the texture of the fresh, in-season ingredients.
I plant a lot of broccoli and it’s one of my favorite vegetables to grow. After harvesting the large head in late spring, the plant keeps producing smaller florets throughout the season. Depending on the year, I can end up with a lot of extra broccoli. If you’re in the same boat, why not make a fresh, crunchy salad? This ginger miso broccoli salad has the flavor turned way up for a great take on an old staple.
What is broccoli salad?
When thinking up new dishes, I go back to traditional recipes, many of which are found in a plethora of church cookbooks. And without fail, any good church cookbook will contain a broccoli salad recipe. The dressing, which is drizzled (sometimes smothered) over broccoli florets is usually a mixture of mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. The sugar counteracts the acidity and balances out the other flavors. While the reasoning for including the sugar makes sense, it also happens to overpower and remove the flavor of broccoli.
In contrast, my dressing enhances the broccoli through spiced ginger root, miso paste, and some honey. To make it creamy, I add yogurt which also provides a slight tang. This mixture, when poured over the top of broccoli, onion, and carrots, creates a well-balanced, surprisingly addicting salad.
What is miso?
Miso is a paste made with soybeans, and at times, other grains. The mixture is fermented to create a rich, funky flavor. I know, the description doesn’t exactly make you want to run out and purchased tubes of it! But like most fermented foods, miso has healthy bacteria that can benefit your gut. The important takeaway is the great flavor it adds. It’s a sweet, salty, and intriguing flavor that’s balanced with equally strong dressing ingredients. I think you’ll find many uses for this dressing!
Watch how to make this broccoli salad
Ginger Miso Broccoli Salad
For the dressing
- 1-inch piece ginger skin removed and roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp yellow miso
- ¼ cup neutral oil (safflower, grapeseed)
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp honey
For the salad
- 6 cups broccoli florets
- ⅓ cup diced red onion
- 1 carrot grated
- ¾ cup roasted cashews
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
For the dressing
- In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the ginger, garlic, vinegar, miso, oil, Greek yogurt, and honey. Blend with an immersion or countertop blender until smooth. Set aside. This can be made up to 48 hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
For the salad
- Add the broccoli florets to a large bowl along with the red onion and carrots. Add half of the prepared dressing and stir to combine. Taste and add more dressing as needed. This can be made 6-8 hours before serving when stored in the refrigerator. The broccoli will become slightly more tender if made ahead.
- Before serving, add the dried cranberries and cashews.