Kayla Friedman asked for help finding the recipe for miso salad dressing from the Spiral in Coral Gables, a pioneer health foods restaurant in the flower power era. Happily, many readers not only fondly remembered the restaurant and owner Mama Mango, but shared the recipe.
“I actually have a very blurred index card with the recipe,” wrote Ann Goldman. “A favorite from the ‘70s.” “I’ve had the recipe since the Woodstock days,” said Patty V. “Back then miso and tamari were exotic ingredients.”
“A girlfriend gave it to me and I always loved the flavor,” said J. Jenson. “I’ve had it since the late 1970s.”
“I cut this recipe from the paper in the ‘70s and have been making it & giving it to friends ever since,” said Carol Seiderman. “It’s always a hit.”
There were a few variations in the shared recipes. Some called for safflower oil rather than soybean, but any light-flavored oil will do. Some used apple cider vinegar and some rice wine vinegar. Some added a tablespoon of honey.
For those unfamiliar with tamari, it is similar to soy sauce since it is made from fermented soy beans, but it is thicker, darker and contains less sodium.
Q. They make a very interesting dish shaped like a huarache sandal at Talavera in Coral Gables. The base is like a corn cake. Can you tell me how it is made?
Chef Oscar del Rivero kindly supplied the recipe, just in time for Cinco de Mayo. The restaurant makes its own salsa verde and black bean puree, but I have adapted the recipe to use commercial products to make it easier on a home cook. The roasted tomato sauce is quite distinct and quite fiery, but as a shortcut, consider draining a can of tomatoes with green chiles and pureeing in a blender.
The real star of the dish is the huarache base, which is thicker than a corn tortilla and more finely flavored. Though often sold as street food in Mexico City, these are rarely found in this country. Yes, huaraches are named after the shoes because of the shape.
Note: You will have roasted tomato sauce left over for other uses. Refrigerate for a few days or freeze.
Children can make breakfast on their own for mom with this easy yet delicious recipe for homemade granola (they may need an adult to man the oven). It’s from Kids in the Kitchen by Time Magazine for Kids ($19.95). The recipes are pretty standard, but the spiral bound format is nifty and the recipes all have cultural or historical nuggets as well.To make a Mother’s Day breakfast even more special, layer the granola with fresh fruit and yogurt to make a morning sundae.