Apple, Beet and Walnut Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette

apple beetMiso is a fermented soybean paste, originated in China, perfected in Japan, that gives this lemon vinaigrette an incredibly satisfying sweet-salty-nutty flavor known as “umami.” Miso is available at most supermarkets in the international food section or in the freezer or refrigerator with other soy products. This recipe calls for the most versatile of the three popular grades of miso — “white” or “yellow” miso, also called shiso in the Japanese tradition. Other recipes for using miso can be found on this website, search under “miso.” This recipe was demoed at USBG October 9, 2014. Read More

Simple Poached Pears with Miso Butterscotch

pearsThe pears you can poach in any number of ways – this is perhaps the simplest. I vary the poaching liquid depending on what pears I use and what I’m in the mood for that day – so red wine, white wine, especially a slightly sweeter one such as a Moscato, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, orange peel – some combination of these might be incorporated at any given time. Try different pears too, though Bosc is probably the go-to just for superior texture once cooked. What doesn’t change is the incredible Miso Butterscotch sauce, below, which really sets these pears apart. Miso paste, a fermented bean paste from Japan, is available in nearly all supermarkets and certainly at Asian groceries. It’s sold near the tofu in the refrigerated section of the market or with the international foods in shelf-stable packaging. Either version is good, though Danielle prefers the refrigerated versions as the fermentation is fresher. The recipe is from Mark Bittman of the New York Times. This recipe was demoed at USBG September 11, 2014. Read More

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Baby Potatoes with Miso-Maple Dressing

roasted carrot and two-potato salad-7

Miso, made from a combination of fermented soybean paste and a grain, is available in several colors from light (mellow) to dark (robust, depending on which grain the paste is made with (usually barley or rice). It’s a great source of vitamin 12. While  high in sodium, miso is also a great source of vitamin B12. It’s quite versatile as well, commonly used in sauces, soups, marinades, salad dressings and dips. Kept in an airtight container, it can be stored in the refrigerator for several months. Danielle made this for folks at US Botanic Garden March 6, and then again for Brookside Botanical Gardens March 12 2014. Read More