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.
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’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.
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.
Love all the charts like the one above.
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!
More Salad Recipes
Anna Jones' California Salad
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.
- 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
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.
Serves 4 as side salad.
Adapted from A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones.