I can't even begin to tell you how happy my eyes are to see all of this GREEN. I think I probably say this every year, but it feels like winter has lasted forever, and as a result I've definitely come down with a serious case of root vegetable ennui. Parsnips, rutabagas, and turnips are great and all...but if I don't eat them again until next fall, it will be too soon!
In the spirit of embracing as much fresh spring produce as I can, I've been scouring restaurant menus and my cookbooks for seasonal veggie inspiration, and one thing I couldn't help but notice is that this season, miso butter is everywhere. It's being smeared on savory toast, sprinkled on freshly popped popcorn, and used to spice up scrambled eggs. After seeing it over and over again, I realized I had to see what all the hype was about!
In it's simplest form, miso butter is pretty much just a compound butter. It sounds fancy, but it is basically just room temperature butter and miso that have been smashed together and then re-chilled in the fridge so that the flavors meld together, yielding a condiment that is both rich and deeply savory. Then, because I'm a spice junkie, I also mixed in both sriracha and ginger for some added bite.
While the resulting butter is good enough to eat with a spoon, I liked it best melted over two of my favorite spring veggies - asparagus and peas. After a brief sauté to tenderize them, they're topped with a dash of the miso butter while they're still hot, which melts into all of their crevices. The salt and heat of the miso butter help to bring out the inner sweetness of the veggies so that you get a mix of sweet and savory in every bite. Feel free to drown all of your veggies in it. I know I will.
For the miso butter
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 tablespoons white miso
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
For the vegetables
- 1 pound asparagus trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound peas fresh or frozen
- 3-4 tablespoons miso butter
- In a medium bowl, combine the butter, miso, sriracha, and ginger. Mash together with a fork until the mixture is well combined. Scoop the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll it into a log. Place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using to allow it to firm up.
- To cook the vegetables, melt 2 tablespoons of the miso butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peas and asparagus to the pan and sauté, stirring frequently, for 6-8 minutes, or until the peas are heated through and the asparagus is slightly tender. Transfer the peas and asparagus to a serving bowl and, while still hot, toss with another 1-2 tablespoons of the butter, according to taste. Serve warm.