Napa Cabbage Salad with Asian Pears and Red Pepper Ginger-Miso Dressing  

Looking for a salad that’ll be a hit at the next potluck, barbeque or picnic? It’s fresh and packed with flavor, with a great variety of ingredients so each forkful is a refreshing, fun combo. Add cold rice noodles, shredded rotisserie chicken, tofu cubes…and you’ve got a main dish. Just wait to dress it until you get where you’re going and you’re all set.

The dressing is a keeper. Great for dipping veggies, or just licking off your fingers!


  • 6 cups chopped Napa Cabbage
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced into rounds
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • 2 cups thinly sliced Asian pears – Asian is best, but bosc pears are also good
  • Leaves from 1 bunch cilantro, picked
  • Dressing:
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded/chopped
  • ¼ cup tahini, or hulled white sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Tamari
  • 2 Tbsp light miso
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp peeled, minced ginger
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ to ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, depending on how thick you want dressing
  • Salt to taste
  • Dash of cayenne pepper


Toss together in a bowl: Napa cabbage, scallions, carrot, pear and cilantro.

Prepare dressing: Put celery, bell pepper, tahini/sesame seeds, water, garlic, tamari, light miso, ginger, cayenne and lemon juice into a (ideally, high-speed) blender jar. With blender running, slowly pour EVOO through hole in blender lid until desired smooth consistency is reached.  Adjust salt to your taste.

Dress salad somewhat lightly, you’ll have extra but you can always add more later! Stir in half of the almonds and scatter the rest on top.

Note: You can prep the ingredients the night before and store them separately, except for the pears since they discolor and don’t taste as good as when you first slice them. Only mix ingredients together when ready to serve.