Miso Sesame Squash Salad

miso sesame squash salad / loveandlemons.com miso sesame squash salad / loveandlemons.com

Does anyone else have a fascination with grocery stores in other countries? In Japan, we spent lots of time at food markets, but we spent countless hours wandering the aisles of grocery stores. It was so fun just trying to figure out what everything was. I collected non-perishable(ish) items to bring back – miso pastes, spice mixtures, etc…

We also had a short list of items to get for a very good Japanese friend back home. A few of them were a little hard to find – buttered peanuts, and a specific brand of salad dressing. She eventually sent us some photos so we could identify the packaging… it sounds funny to say, but we spent a bit of time in the bottled salad dressing aisle of more than one store. On the last day, (as if I could fit one more thing into my suitcase), a bottle of yuzu-sesame dressing caught my eye. A combo I just had to try. Now I can officially say: I went to Japan and came home with salad dressing.

It ended up being terrible. Nonetheless, it inspired the idea for this salad. Not the toppings necessarily (although this squash-pear thing is tasty), but the dressing itself. I’m obsessed with it and I’ve tossed it into every salad since we’ve been home. Salty, tangy, nutty… If you can’t find yuzu, you can use a combo of lemon and lime. But it’s a fun versatile ingredient and it lasts a long time, so I think it’s worth seeking out.

miso sesame squash salad / loveandlemons.com

miso sesame squash salad

Serves: serves 2 as a side or light lunch
  • mixed baby salad greens - a few cups
  • 1 medium fall squash - delicata, acorn, pumpkin, etc.
  • 1 ripe pear, diced
  • olive oil, for roasting the squash
  • pine nuts
  • sesame seeds
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons yuzu juice (or lemon/lime juice & some zest)
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sliced squash with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast until the edges are browned and the flesh is tender. (Timing will depend on the type and thickness of your squash). Let it cool slightly when it's done.
  2. Whisk together dressing ingredients. (Or better yet, shake them together in a small jar with a tight lid, so the miso doesn't get all stuck in your whisk). Taste & adjust.
  3. Toss all salad ingredients with the dressing and roasted squash.
This is a great side dish with sesame seared tuna or marinated & seared tofu.

I’ve seen yuzu juice at our Central Market, asian markets, and of course, online. (It’s cheapest at the asian markets, and strangely the most expensive on amazon).


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  1. Jack's sister

    As the proud recipient of a can of corn from your husband on your last trip, I have no trouble believing you guys hung out in the aisles instead of the isles while on vacation. 🙂

    • jeanine

      we have a little something for you from this trip too 🙂

  2. Lauren from foodtrainers.blogspot.com

    First, your blog is beautiful. Tried your kale/walnut pesto with spaghetti squash (whole family loved). I love miso/miso in dressing but I have yet to yuzu…can’t wait.

    • jeanine

      thanks! so glad you liked the kale pesto!

  3. This looks so yummy, I really want to experiment with Yuzu, I’ve seen it on the Food Network quite a bit and I’m always intrigued!

  4. Beth Young from mozzarelladiaries.blogspot.it

    Looks wonderful! So colourful and vibrant! Would love to give it a go if only I could source the ingredients in Italy! Sadly I think I may have to wait until my next trip back to the UK!

  5. Boiling from boilingwok.wordpress.com

    Aha, I love grocery stores and spend so much time exploring them in different countries!

  6. colores from floressobrelamesa.blogspot.com

    I just discovered this amazing blog, full of savory recipes, amazing photos and lovely reading!!! CONGRATULATIONS

  7. Lys from livinlyssa.wordpress.com

    I love your recipes – simple and fresh, always beautiful and balanced while full of flavor. If you catered, I would jump at the chance have you cater my wedding!

  8. Was lucky to snag some particularly sweet pears lately, and this salad sounds like a great way to use them! What type of miso do you suggest? So many types and applications. I have seen the yuzu at Whole Foods, by the way.

    • jeanine

      Good to know – I couldn’t recall if I had seen yuzu at Whole Foods or not. I use white miso or shiro miso for salads & veggies. I often get that mellow miso brand from whole foods, this one (pictured) was from Japan. I find that different brands vary in saltiness so be sure to taste and adjust from there…

  9. janae from bring-joy.com

    I’m loving all these Japanese inspired dishes. I really think I was born with an Asian palate–love nori & all the spices/sauces/ways of cooking they have to offer. And miso…well that’s one ingredient most American’s are missing out on, IMO.

    • jeanine

      thanks! I know, I could live entirely on Japanese food if I had to.

  10. Hanna Bjerkhamn

    I am obsessed with foreign grocery stores and supermarkets. I thought this was a weird thing that no-one else did! Cheers sister

    • jeanine

      you and me both 🙂

  11. Dani from slyrooster.wordpress.com

    I LOVE wandering through foreign grocery stores–here in the DC area and better, yet abroad. I thought that I was alone in this fascination! Can’t wait to try your dressing. Looks simply delicious.

    • jeanine

      ok glad we’re not the only ones – we spend hours!

  12. Somehow I only *just* discovered miso while trying out a vegan cheese recipe. The cheese will not need to be repeated in our house, but all the miso dressings I’ve tried since to use up my left over paste have been fantastic. My new love! Thanks for adding yet another one to play with.

    • jeanine

      ha, sorry to hear about the miso-cheese failure :). But so exciting that you discovered miso – it’s one of my favorite things! (and btw that leftover paste will last super long… at least a few months if not longer).

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.