Welcome to Never Fail, a weekly column where we wax poetic about the recipes that never, ever let us down. This week: the miso dressing recipe that associate social media manager Emily Schultz just couldn’t live without.
A couple of months ago my coworker, Alex Beggs, was ranting and raving in a meeting about “her sauces,” the ones she makes all the time and keeps in her fridge to doctor up anything from steaks to grain bowls to salads. The thought of keeping a collection of sauces was as intriguing to me as the 4 lb. bag of grandma mints she keeps on her desk—which is to say, VERY INTRIGUING. After that, I made sure that I paid close attention whenever I cooked a recipe that included a sauce to see if it was worthy of becoming one of “my sauces.” And then I found my first: creamy miso dressing.
I happened on this sauce during the Feel Good Food Plan, which is Healthyish’s two week plan of perfectly crafted dinners as well as lunch and breakfast inspiration. Everything about this recipe is genius, from the roasted tofu technique to the combination of raw and roasted Brussels sprouts. But I’m here to wax poetic about that creamy, salty, irresistible miso sauce. And wax I shall.
First off, I’d like to dispel any fear you might have about miso. Real talk: This is the recipe that actually got me to purchase a container of miso. I used to be worried that it was going to be something that I bought once, used once, and then hung out in the back of my fridge with the other misfit toys (like that marionberry fruit spread my roommate brought back from Portland 2 years ago). However, once I bought this miso paste, it opened a whole new world of umami opportunities, because we have more miso recipes than The Shape of Water has Oscar’s. Buy the miso already.
Time to get to the freakin’ sauce already. All you need to get going is a blender, some sesame seeds, lemon juice, water, miso, and hemp seeds. (Quick note: I added about 2 tbsp of tahini instead of hemp seeds because when I went to Whole Foods it was really crowded and I got overwhelmed and forgot the hemp seeds. It turned out super smooth and perfect anyways—yay!) Blend, blend, blend until smooth, and then season with salt. Spoon on the bottom of your bowl, add your tofu and your roast-y cruciferous friends, then drizzle a little more on top because why not. See? Now it’s your sauce too.
The tanginess, big umami flavor, and creamy goodness of this sauce makes it incredibly versatile, which is why making a big old batch of it and parking it in a king size mason jar right in the door of your fridge is a pro move. It a perfect base for any sort of roasted vegetable situation, but you can also thin it down with a little bit of water to make a killer salad dressing, or even spoon some over some crispy chicken thighs for a little extra pep. This sauce is just the beginning of my sauce collection, and also the start of my transformation into Alex Beggs. Who knows, maybe I’ll even have to order my own 4 lb. bag of mints too.