Anna's California Miso Avocado Salad

Anna's California Miso Avocado Salad Recipe

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!

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 min - Cook time: 10 min

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


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

Kari @ Cooking with Toddlers

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

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.


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

valentina | sweet kabocha

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

Kelsey M

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

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 :)


Guess what I'm having for lunch!


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

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

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

David Griffen

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!


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


I love the minimalist feel of the book !

Ciao Florentina

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

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

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

Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

I love how you slice avocados. : )


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!


Anna's cookbook sounds amazing. I love this combination of avocado and lima beans!

Amy - Parsley In My Teeth

What a lovely salad- I love salads like this that feel "on purpose" and not just thrown together. A balanced, flavorful salad is a beautiful thing!


Now this is a salad. And what a unique cookbook. Thanks for sharing it with us, Heidi.

Katie @ Whole Nourishment

Loving the miso/ponzu combo! This book looks gorgeous, looking forward to taking a look at it :)


The entire salad is a beauty, flavors, colors and textures. I want to just dig right in!

Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

I loved this salad. I also made it with a few large shrimp I had..and the broccoli
and avocado were delicious & nutritious

marion rolandi

mm nom nom! this looks delish, I will definitely give it a go! where is the bowl from? it's the perfect size for salads and pasta!

HS: Thanks Love - that one is from my mom. She says she bought it from a potter in Sun Valley, Idaho in the 1960s.

Love Improchori

Beautiful post, Heidi! This looks like a really lovely new book. I love miso, though I admit I don't use it in my daily cooking enough (even though it regularly sits at the back of my fridge). I plan to try this recipe out this afternoon. Thanks for sharing :)

Angela Brown

This is definitely one of the best cookbooks to come along in a while. Inspired recipes. I make Anna's "Dhal with Crispy Sweet Potato" practically weekly.


Beautiful post, Heidi! This looks like a really lovely new book. I love miso, though I admit I don't use it in my daily cooking enough (even though it regularly sits at the back of my fridge). I plan to try this recipe out this afternoon. Thanks for sharing :)


Anna's book is one of the best things to fall into earth from culinary heaven. I have just grown accustomed to miso paste, using it mostly as a condiment. Well now in this fantastic salad I feel it becomes something more! Thanks Heidi.


I made this salad for our lunch today and absolutely loved it! I used coconut milk instead of yoghurt in the dressing and panfried the beans to go on top so they were a little crispy. So good, thanks for sharing Heidi :)

Dearna || to her core

I happened to have all the ingredients- amazing! I made it this past weekend and it was delicious.

Jaclin Gilbert

Wow! I would never think of combing miso and avocado but it sounds great!

Melissa Long

Looks absolutely beautiful. I'm going to make a miso-based dish next week for sure!


happily adding this to my salads repertoire! made it the other day for a girlfriends lunch where it earned raving reviews...the only tweak i did was to add poached flaked salmon... have added anna's book to my short-list of must-haves! thanks! & ditto compliments on your mom's bowl ~ what a beauty!


Heidi, I saw the recipe this morning and could no stop thinking about this lovely Salad, guess what I shopped for at the market. I can't wait for dinner and some California on my plate! Book ordered, too. Expensive, but truly satisfying day. Nicole

Nicole @ thejameskitchen

Now this is a salad. And what a unique cookbook. Thanks for sharing it with us, Heidi. كشف تسربات المياه

كشف تسربات المياه

So happy to start eating clean again with this recipe!! Hope I can keep this momentum going!


Being an Indian I never gone far from onion salad but this one is appealing me to try at least once. I loved this post thanks for sharing


My husband and I have been eating this salad off and on since it we came upon your post, Heidi. In place of frying the beans, we gave the kale a good char in our wok and it added a lot of depth. Thank you for sharing!

Erin Roby

Love the addition of all of these seeds to this flavorful combo, this salad is both pretty and delicious!


Wonderful looking book indeed. I just looked it up on Goodreads, and it appears that a cookbook of the same title, also authored by Anna Jones, was released in 2014. Heidi - Do you know what the difference between the 2014 and 2015 editions of the book is? A Google search turned up nothing and I'm quite curious!

HS: Hi Chelsea - I suspect the 2014 edition is the UK edition, and the 2015 edition is the US edition.


I really, really have to get this book.


Fantastic post Heidi, this is going into my "This ones a keeper" recipe book. I pan fried the white beans ... it was soo.. good! Thanks!


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