Anna Jones’ California Salad

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 Jones’ California Salad

I think of this as my friend Anna Jones’ California Salad. I discovered it when cooking through her cookbook, A Modern Way to Eat. 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). She 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. It's really good. And this salad is a good indicator. Anna Jones california salad with beans, miso, avocado in big ceramic salad bowl

The Salad

I 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. It’s inspired by her time spent in the golden state.

Anna Jones california salad with beans, miso, avocado in big ceramic salad bowl

Anna’s California Salad: Ingredients

A few thought on the salad ingredients here.

  • Beans: 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.
  • Ponzu Sauce: 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."
  • Miso: 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.

Anna Jones california salad with beans, miso, avocado in big ceramic salad bowl

I've taken a few snapshots of some spreads from Anna’s book down below. To give you a sense of what the vibe and aesthetic is.
Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad
Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad
Love all the charts like the one above.
Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad

More About Anna Jones

You can read more about lovely Anna here, and here. You can follow her on Instagram here. She also comes to the West Coast now and then for book signings & events, so keep an eye out. xo Anna, and congrats!
Anna Jones California Miso Avocado Salad

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Anna Jones' California Salad

5 from 1 vote

As I mentioned up above, play around with different bean types - butter beans, corona beans, limas. All work well. I couldn't resist pan-frying mine and then chopping them. Anna uses them whole. Anna calls for brown rice miso paste, but if you can’t find that, try a white miso or chickpea miso. To make this vegan use soy yogurt.

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
For the salad:
  • 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
Make the dressing:
  1. 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.
Make the Salad:
  1. 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.
  2. Toast the pumpkin and sesame seeds in a pan until lightly golden, then spread on a plate to cool.
  3. 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.

Serves 4 as side salad.

Adapted from A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones.

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
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Recipe Rating


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!


I really, really have to get this book.


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.


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


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

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


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


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

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!


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


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

Melissa Long

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

Jaclin Gilbert

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

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.


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 :)


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 :)

Angela Brown

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

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

Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

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


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

Katie @ Whole Nourishment

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!


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

Amy - Parsley In My Teeth

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

marion rolandi

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

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

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

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

Guess what I'm having for lunch!


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.


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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