Food The Bite:

Miso-Turmeric-Tahini Sauce & Seared Salad

Miso-Turmeric-Tahini Sauce & Seared Salad

NAME : Alaina Sullivan

PROFESSION : Artist / Designer at Bon Appetit magazine

MIDNIGHT SNACK? Very dark chocolate

QUIRKY FOOD HABITS? I’ve become notorious for art directing my friends’ hand placement around a table of food so I can snap a quick photo before we eat. 

I CAN NEVER RESIST? “putting an egg on it”, fresh homemade bread, pistachio gelato

THE RECIPE YOU ARE KNOWN FOR? Probably granola. Also, my Thai-inspired charred brussels sprouts has become a hit among family and friends. 

MOST SWOON-WORTHY RESTAURANT? Gjusta Bakery in Venice, CA. It’s a place I’d eat every day. 

THEY SAY YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT –  WHAT ARE YOU? Earthy, balanced, savory. 

Miso-Turmeric-Tahini Sauce & Seared Salad

Alaina Sullivan


Miso-Turmeric-Tahini Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 knob fresh turmeric, finely grated (or substitute 1 tsp ground)
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Raw honey
  • Black pepper

Seared Salad

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 small (or 1 large) sweet potato, diced
  • 1 lb green beans, ends cut off
  • Several cups arugula, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup mint, torn or roughly chopped
  • 8 castelvetrano olives, pitted, chopped
  • Miso-turmeric-tahini sauce (recipe above)
  • 4 sardines in olive oil, drained and cut in half
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
  • White sesame seeds
  • Crushed red pepper



The Prep

Miso-Turmeric-Tahini Sauce
  • Combine miso, tahini and turmeric in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and a bit of water to thin the mixture (you can make it as thick or as thin as you like, just by adding more water, though this will start to dilute the flavor if you add too much).
  • Add a tsp or two of honey, taste, and adjust flavors as needed. Add more water to reach the desired consistency.
  • Season with black pepper.
  • Enjoy on everything from salads to roasted vegetables to eggs to meat to fish to lentils…it’s supremely versatile.
*Tonight I used it as a dressing for a warm salad of seared green beans, pan-fried sweet potatoes, arugula, herbs and sardines. Recipe sketch below (makes about 2 servings)
Seared Salad
  • Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet. Add sweet potatoes and cook until soft and slightly charred on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add a bit more oil to the skillet and add green beans.
  • Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes, until just-tender.
  • Place arugula in a large bowl and add the warm sweet potatoes, green beans, olives, basil, and mint.
  • Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Drizzle miso-turmeric-tahini sauce around the sides of the bowl and then toss the salad (I like to use my hands to make sure it all gets evenly coated).
  • Taste, and add more sauce as needed. Finish each serving with a few sardines, white sesame seeds, crushed red pepper, and a painterly smattering of the sauce.
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