Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Miso of Your Dreams

  A casual mention here of the Miso Dressing from the long defunct The Juicery restaurants in WNY has brought about many requests, recently, for that recipe. For those who have asked, and those that haven't, YET, I submit it here today for your pleasure.

 The dressing was served at The Juicery on several dishes, and was available by request. It's supposed to be fairly thick, a creamily salty, rich, tangy emulsion with just enough sweetness in it, made to balance  the flavors of almost anything you put it on-- green salads with fruits and nuts, a bread and tomato salad, steamed vegetables, in a wrap or sandwich of any sort. I liked it on the Lite Bite: a small green salad of frilly lettuces topped with a large rounded scoop of the Juicery's very rich, cuminy Hummus, flatbread triangles on the side.

 But the uses of this dressing go way beyond. It could easily be a dip, it's a natural, if counterintuitive pairing, with feta and pita and all dishes that go with them, it's wonderful dripped onto a veggie burger, it makes the sliced cuke a snack of the gods, and I'm dying to try it on sweet potato fries. I've enjoyed it with almond butter and lettuce on wheat bread. Of course, it would enhance a vegetarian sushi plate.

 This recipe, given me by my niece who was, at the time, working at the Juicery Cafe in Amherst, NY, makes a large quantity-- a gallon, in fact.

 It won't be enough.

 But it does keep very well in the fridge. Or you can do as I often do-- make a smaller quantity using similar proportions* and your own sense of the proper taste/consistency to get it right. If making it as a dip, you may want to scratch the soy, or edit it down to a few drops, and add water just till thick enough, instead of the given proportion.

 As for the oil, we have it on good authority that the restaurant used an olive oil/vegetable oil blend. I use olive oil, with a little extra-virgin thrown in for fruitiness. But it takes well to canola, sunflower, or straight veg oil, or a combination of these. Corn oil is too heavy, IMO.

 As for the miso, white or yellow are first choices for this, but red or darker work too-- you should taste as you go, and adjust. It shouldn't be too salty to lick straight off your finger. And you'll want to lick it off your fingers!

PS-- a little blended into your hummus is out-of-bounds yummy.

The Juicery's Miso Dressing

makes about 1 gallon

8 C oil

4 C water

1/2 C lemon juice

1/2 C honey (vegans can use a slightly lesser amount of agave, and adjust to taste)

1/3 C wine vinegar (they used red)

1/4 C soy sauce

3 tsp chopped garlic

10 oz chopped onion (1 big onion)

1 3/4 C miso paste

 Measure and add all ingredients into large blender. Blend till smooth. Store in refrigerator.

*Proportionally, if you started with one C oil, you'd use a scant 1/2 C water, about 1/4 C miso or less. The rest of the ingredients, you do to taste, adding maybe a 1/4 C chopped onion, a clove minced garlic, and drizzling the liquids in by a tsp at a time. When it tastes delicious, it's right.

 This stuff really is the bomb, as requests for it from several different states/countries will atttest. I hope you try it soon. It's perfect for fall salads, and end-of-summer grillfests.

 Peace, Mari

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