Spinach and Eggplant Salad with Miso Dressing

Spinach Miso Salad

I could pontificate for hours about my love of vegetables, but I will spare you the agony. Just know that I love them… pretty much all of them, a lot.

In college, though, pretty much the only vegetables I ever ate were bagged salads and baby carrots (usually along with my frozen Lean Cuisines. The horror!). While trying to balance a full course load (with labs! Not a wimpy liberal arts full load!), sorority life, triathlon team, and a nanny job, cooking was never a priority and something like this salad would NEVER make it onto the meal plan.

Now, however, I have plenty of time to ponder new ways to cook vegetables. I’ve been on a roasted eggplant kick lately, so when I saw this recipe for roasted eggplant with miso sauce, a whole world of possibilities began circulating through my brain. I decided to cut the eggplant into bite-sized pieces, roast it, and toss it with some fresh spinach to make a delicious and satisfying salad.
Spinach Miso Salad 2
(adapted from Daily Unadventures In Cooking, originally from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)

4-6 cups spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
3 small Japanese eggplants
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp miso
3 tsbp water
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp thinly sliced green onions

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Cut the eggplants into 1″ cubes and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt.
Let stand about 20 minutes, then blot dry with a clean towel.
Toss with vegetable oil then roast for about 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft.
Meanwhile, stir together the miso, water, rice vinegar, ginger, and sugar. Taste and add more sugar if desired.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
Toss the eggplant and spinach together with about half the dressing, adding more if necessary.
Sprinkle with green onions, and serve the rest of the dressing on the side.

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