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Mellow Miso Dressing + Weekday Salad

Today I am sharing my favorite and very delicious mellow miso dressing + weekday salad—with tips for putting together a salad in a jiffy. A colorful yet simple tossed green salad always goes with dinner–that’s how we roll at our house. Weekday salads insure our daily dose of healthy raw, fresh nutritious veggies, no matter what else we eat that day.

Mellow Miso Dressing + Weekday Salad

To make this thick and creamy dressing that’s all-in-one lick tart, sweet, salty and umami, you whir white miso with rice vinegar, honey, oil, and a smidgen of green onion in a blender. Mellow miso dressing tantalizes your tongue with every crunchy bite of lettuce, carrot, tomato–everything you add to your salad.

Years ago I discovered this recipe on a tub of Westbrae mellow white miso. Mellow, defined in dictionaries as smooth, rich, deep, expansive and mature. Yup. Miso, as in traditional Japanese fermented soybean paste with live probiotics, salty pale yellow white miso, the lightest of a variety of misos.

dressing in bottle

From pulling the workings from the fridge, to done, on the dining table, Robbie has salad making down to ten minutes. I’m not exaggerating. The trick is to prep ahead of time, right after shopping, which sets us up for several nights of weekday salads.

washed romaine lettuce for weekday salad with mellow miso dressing

Here are the guidelines:

  • Make sure you have salad dressing prepared. Make today’s easy mellow miso dressing, or blend up another delicious vinaigrette, like this herb vinaigrette or this red chile dressing.
  • Fill a sink with cold water and wash the lettuce. Spin the excess water away in a lettuce spinner, until it is practically dry. (see notes) Wrap the lettuce in a kitchen towel, then slip the wrapped greens into a plastic bag. Store in the fridge until it’s weekday salad fixing time.
  • If beets made it into your grocery cart, when you get home give them a quick scrub and roast them in the oven. Leave the skins on–they will be easy to slip off when it’s time to cut into slices or wedges. Refrigerate the cooked beets in a jar or plastic container. Pop the celery, leafy end up, in a jar with an inch or so of water and cover loosely with a plastic bag.
  • We keep a bag of organic carrots and a jicama in the produce drawer, ready and waiting for weekday salads. Sometimes we have cucumbers and bell peppers too. Tomatoes in season, absolutely. Avocado slices if you wish.

Showtime is dinnertime:

  • Pull out the salad bowl. Or individual bowls. Remove the washed lettuce, a carrot or two, a stalk of celery, the jicama and a roasted beet from the fridge. And/or cucumber and bell pepper. Diced piquant kosher dill pickle is a fun taste surprise in salad. For protein, keep pecans, pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds nearby. Consider that garbanzo or black beans can make it a main course salad.
  • Wash and peel and trim the veggies. Slip the skin from the beet. Be efficient. Whichever vegetables you choose, prep them before slicing and dicing into julienne, cubes, rounds, or wedges–any shape your cooking heart desires.
  • Tear the lettuce into bite size pieces. (see note) Arrange the chopped veggies over the lettuce. Sprinkle with nuts or seeds if you wish. We always dress our salad at the table, just in case there is some leftover–great for lunch the next day.
  • Eat up. You’ve just gotten a lot closer to the recommended 5 to 9 fresh fruits and vegetables a day and you did it quickly. For more weekday salads, repeat the dinnertime steps, varying as you please.

dressed in bowl

Mellow Miso Dressing and Weekday Salad recipe notes:

  • I prefer the taste and crunch of romaine lettuce and that it doesn’t easily spoil. Robbie likes the tubs of mixed greens. Either choice, both get a fresh rinse, even the pre-washed greens.
  • We didn’t bring our lettuce spinner, which is normally essential in our kitchen, to Baja last winter. We improvised and spun our greens the old-fashioned way, in a mesh laundry bag. Be sure to swing the bag outdoors so water doesn’t spray all over your kitchen!
  • IMHO, tearing lettuce into bite size pieces is the only way to go. Using scissors, Robbie cuts the lettuce right in the bowl.

PS If you make this recipe and love it, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe.

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Mellow Miso Dressing + Weekday Salad
When your dressing and lettuce are prepped ahead of time, you can have salad on the dinner table in 10 minutes! Choose three to five vegetables to keep it simple. Nuts or seeds optional. On hot summer days, or when you feel like just having a salad for dinner, add beans for protein.
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • ½ cup organic white miso
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • Salad:
  • Romaine lettuce or lettuce of choice , washed and spun dry
  • Roasted red or golden beets , as desired
  • Carrots , as desired
  • Jicama , as desired
  • Celery , as desired
  • Cucumber , as desired
  • Bell pepper , as desired
  • Avocado , if desired
  • Dill pickle , if desired (we favor Bubbie’s natural fermented kosher dills)
  • Tomato , if desired
  • Nuts or seeds , if desired
  • Cooked beans , if desired
  1. Dressing:
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Salad:
  4. Tear lettuce in bite size pieces and place in bowl. Peel, trim and cut your choice of vegetables and arrange on top of lettuce. Sprinkle with nuts, seeds or beans as desired.


  • I go through phases where I prep veggies and when I do, I eat way more. I have some miso in the fridge- am definitely going to make this! Reply · 30 April, 2015

  • Dueling salad styles! Cool. I need more miso in my life. Where do you buy yours? GREG Reply · 1 May, 2015

  • Letty

    I’ve used both Westbrae and Miso Master brands, and most–recently bought the Miso Master at Whole Foods. Westbrae miso is sold at our local well-stocked (Western Family co-op) grocery store. I think I like Westbrae’s flavor the best. Reply · 1 May, 2015

  • […] hike up the hill near our house. When we get back we jam out dinner together. He usually makes the salad, I make the main […] Reply · 25 June, 2015

  • […] Miso is a fermented seasoning, a staple in every Japanese kitchen; its range of flavors and colors, textures and aromas is as varied as that of the world’s fine wines or cheeses. I tend to go with dark miso in soup. (White miso makes a wonderful salad dressing—this recipe.) […] Reply · 21 January, 2016

  • […] warm weather around here, we’ve been generously spooning this perky combination on top of our “weekday” green salad, and calling it […] Reply · 7 March, 2016

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