Anna’s California Miso Avocado Salad Recipe

A California-inspired Miso, Avocado, & Lima Bean Salad from A Modern Way to Eat, by Anna Jones. Seasonal greens and beans are tossed with an assertive, creamy miso dressing. There are crunchy seeds, and broccoli, and avocado - it all comes together into a brilliant, beautiful, feel-good salad.

Anna’s California Miso Avocado Salad

There is a list of impressive cookbooks queuing up for release this spring. Thoughtful, beautiful titles filled with writing and recipes that make you excited to light up your kitchen. I've been cooking from a number of these books, and can't wait to single out a few favorites in the coming weeks. First up is A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones. The book is a 352-page stunner, and an example of a first book going very right. You have Anna, who has substantial professional experience as a London-based writer and stylist (you've likely encountered her work on the pages of Jamie magazine). And she has paired up with one of my favorite photographers Brian W. Ferry. The book was published last year by 4th Estate under the guidance of Louise Haines (Nigel Slater's editor) and Georgia Mason in the U.K., and is set for U.S. release by Ten Speed Press in the United States this April. I've taken a few snapshots of some spreads down below, and thought I'd share Anna's California-inspired salad made with miso, avocado, & lima beans. It's the kind of substantial salad I love, particularly in the winter. Seasonal greens are tossed with an assertive, creamy miso dressing. There are beans, crunchy seeds, broccoli, and avocado - it all comes together into a brilliant, beautiful, feel-good salad.

Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad

You can read more about lovely Anna here, and here, and here. You can follow her on Instagram here. I also have my fingers crossed that she might be coming to the West Coast this spring for a few signings & events. xo Anna, and congrats!

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California Miso, Avocado, and Lima Bean Salad

Use whatever white beans you like here - butter beans, corona beans, limas. I couldn't resist pan-frying mine and then chopping them, Anna uses them whole. Related to ponzu sauce, Anna says, "Ponzu is a sweet-sour-salty mixture of soy sauce and a Japanese citrus called yuzu lime--the zippiest citrus flavor I know. It's available in most Japanese shops. If you don't have ponzu, a little soy mixed with lime juice will work." Also, the dressing really takes on the character of whatever miso you choose. Just keep in mind some miso pastes are stronger and more salty than others. You can always adjust to your tastes.

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon brown rice miso paste
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar _
1 tablespoon ponzu or soy sauce
juice of 1/2 a lime
4 tablespoons cow's milk or soy yogurt
sea salt

5 ounces / 150 g broccoli, stems chopped, florets broken into little heads
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 handfuls of seasonal salad leaves, washed and dried
1 ripe avocado, pitted and halved
1 (15-ounce/400 g) can white beans (or equivalent), drained

First make the dressing. Mix all your dressing ingredients together in a bowl,
adding a little salt if needed, depending on how salty your miso is. Alternately, if the dressing is too salty, add more yogurt.

Next, blanch the broccoli in boiling, salted water for a minute or so, until it has lost its rawness and is a lovely bright green. Drain and let cool.

Toast the pumpkin and sesame seeds in a pan until lightly golden, then spread on a plate to cool.

Pile the leaves into a serving bowl, then chop the avocado into chunks, and add them to the bowl along with the beans. Once the broccoli and seeds are cool, add them too. Pour over the dressing and toss well. Serve with steamed brown rice or soba noodles for a more substantial dinner.

Adapted from A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones. Serves 2 or 4 as part of a meal.

Prep time: 15 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Hi Heidi! I love your recipes, and I always look forward to your new posts! Do you have any advice on the technique of slicing avocados thinly and beautifully? Peel first, and slice in your hand? or peel last. So far slicing in my hand has kept it in shape for displaying, but if you have any better ideas please let me know

HS: Hi Asuka - I think the key is making sure they are ripe. If not, you'll fight the process the whole way. I slice the avocado in half, pit it, and slice the halves into quarters. Then I cradle one of the quarters in my palm and use a paring knife to carefully score all the way down the slice (the peel is still on at this point. Lastly, I run the knife along the inside of the peel to release the flesh. It is easy to push off the peel at this point, and/or gently fan. Hope this helps!


I love how you slice avocados. : )


This salad looks phenomenal! So does Anna's cookbook! Now I'm hungry for this salad!

Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Anna's book is a favourite of mine. The recipes are delicious and the photos and design are beautiful. I would definitely recommend it! I am yet tor try this salad but can't wait, it looks so good.

Clementine May

So many wonderful things happening here. I followed Anna on Instagram -- beautiful photos. The cookbook looks gorgeous...the soup page. Love it. As for the recipe -- heavenly. The miso...the avocado...the roasted beans (love that). Yum. Just yum.

Rebecca @ DisplacedHousewife

I love the minimalist feel of the book !

Ciao Florentina

Oh happy introduction! Really, the output lately! The creative force! A delight.


How could this not have made it onto my radar screen? Past tense. It's on there, now. Cannot wait to get my hands on my own copy. And to devour this salad, which has lunch written ALL over it. Thank you!


Wow, the cookbook looks stunning. Lovely and minimalist - I'm going to have to try the salad, it looks great!

David Griffen

Her photos look amazing and that sounds like a salad a meat eater would enjoy as well. So what makes it modern eating? Ultra fusion pairings? Is there anything else that caught your eye? I can stand only so many salads. :)

Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious

This is exactly the kind of dish I'm craving right now, I'm so happy you've shared it and linked to Anna - can't wait to read more about her and add this cookbook to my admittedly long wishlist. It sounds so delicious!

Christine // my natural kitchen

Guess what I'm having for lunch!


I've seen her book on the shelves and it is absolute beautiful. The simple design, the quiet photographs and it feels lovely too! And I love that Jamie Oliver is such a supporter and fan of his former employees, makes him even more likeable. Overall a very feel good book I'd say :)


Mmmmm I love this has a bit of a Spring-feel to it :D Definitely need that kind of food now, with plenty of iron-goodness to keep us awake from the broccoli :D Thank you for sharing! I always keep wondering how you take such great photos "straight down of the plate" Love it! x

Jules @ WolfItDown

What a lovely recipe and book- thank you for sharing! Looking into ordering a copy now! :) -Kelsey

Kelsey M

I love her book! I made her raw brownies : simply perfect!

valentina | sweet kabocha

Hi Heidi, I have this cookbook as well and agree that it is gorgeous. There have been so many beautiful books in the last 6 months or so. I love the bowl you have served your salad in too.


This is definitely a salad recipe I'd try. The ponzu and rice vinegar was all I needed to be like, "whoaaaa I'm hungry and it's nearing midnight", hah! And the photos in Anna's book are so beautiful!!!

ellie | fit for the soul

The book looks lovely and the salad does look wonderfully brilliant!

Kari @ Cooking with Toddlers

ahh i've loved this book ever since it came out - i recommend it to everyone i know! as a 15 yr old vegetarian, the way her recipes are written (clearly, comprehensibly) and the recipes themselves are great! thanks for sharing!


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