Zac Posen's mizuna and avocado salad with creamy cashew-ginger dressing

I have been going to the Japanese restaurant Japonica just north of Washington Square for birthdays and celebrations forever. Here I always feel at home, always lovingly welcomed by the staff and owners and integrated into the experience of a meal.The restaurant is decorated in a totally whimsical Japanese style that changes with every season. What began as a love of Japanese food has evolved into a life long interest in and appreciation for Japanese arts, crafts, culture, and design—and, of course, the food!



  1. Place the cashews, olive oil, vinegar, scallion, shiso (if using), ginger, mirin, yuzu, and salt in a blender and process until smooth. If the dressing is very thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time (you can add up to 3 tablespoons of water without dramatically softening the flavor) until the dressing reaches the desired consistency.
  2. Arrange the mizuna, cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocado on a platter and drizzle the dressing over the top.Serve immediately.


A website to note: A great way to get to know Japanese cuisine, cooking, ingredients, technique, and culture is to check out the Website for NHK World, Japan’s public broadcasting organization (their version of PBS!). Here you can find hundreds of recipes and videos, all in English—finding NHK online was a revelation to me, and now I’m completely addicted!