A few weeks ago, a commenter (hi, Kate!) tipped me off to the Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing in Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP newsletter. Yes, that Gwyneth Paltrow, from Duets! She has a newsletter dedicated to “nourishing the inner aspect” which I have to be completely honest, I have no idea what that is and hope that doesn’t mean I don’t have one. I’m also not convinced that I’m full of impurities and toxins, thus I’m not really into cleanses and detoxes she discusses in this newsletter and I’m understandably suspect of borderline-starvation fasts that promise a quick shedding of holiday excess.
But I really love a good avocado salad. And my husband thinks that carrot-ginger dressings are pretty much the best thing ever. He always talks about one he’d get in college from a place called Around the Clock (it is now a Japanese bakery, next to St. Marks Books) and how he’d always crave it and how nobody really makes it as perfectly as they did, or nobody before I tried Paltrow’s version — “You got the recipe just right!”
And he’s right, it is pretty awesome (thanks, Gwyneth!), and it doesn’t matter whether you’re eating it for the healthful promises within or just because it tastes really good. The sharp flavors of the raw shallot and ginger are rounded out by the toasted, nutty seasame oil and miso, mellowed by the sweet ground carrot and contrasted by the sweet, smooth avocado in the salad. We loved this. We wanted to dip everything in it, which is good, because it makes a lot (but should not be used sparingly, as you would a thinner dressing). Even Jacob wanted to get in on the action, staring so hard at us as we ate our salads that I couldn’t resist offering him a taste of the dressing. He was aghast. I’m going to assume that’s a good thing.
Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP.com
The major changes I made to the recipe were to increase the miso and sesame oil because I like it when their flavors are noticeable. This recipe has a real bite to it from the fresh ginger and the shallot. The original recipe suggested a large one, I suggest a more thimble-like small one. If you don’t want as loud of a ginger bite, use one tablespoon instead of two. This will make a lot but I like salads best with a heavy helping of this. You’ll go through it faster than you’d expect.
Serves 4, with dressing to spare
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sweet white miso
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1/4 cup grapeseed or another neutral oil
2 tablespoons water
1 small/medium head of lettuce (I used Bibb) or mixed greens of your choice
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, quartered
Whiz the carrots, shallot and ginger in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, then add the miso, vinegar and sesame oil. While the machine running, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water.
Divide the lettuce among four bowls, add some of the onion and a quarter of the avocado. Drizzle with plenty of dressing and serve.