Thursday, April 28, 2011

steamed asparagus with sweet miso dipping sauce

A light, heat-friendly veggie in 5 minutes.
When I spy skinny, deep green asparagus in the markets, I know I can finally exhale and bask in the happy realization that the warm weather has taken hold and I can bid adieu to winter squash, potatoes and parsnips – at least for the next 6 months. I love asparagus, first, because it doesn't require much "gussying up"; it's full of flavor on it's own. Asparagus is also super simple to prepare: you can roast it in a 400 degree oven with a bit of olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes and call it a Side Dish. Or you can steam it and top it simply with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

Last night, I steamed some asparagus and threw together this ridiculously easy dipping sauce. Because it's light, it's perfect for the warm weather, when even hedonists like me don't feel like scarfing down a rich meal. The sauce gets it sweetness from a glop of agave nectar. The miso paste adds salty umami, while my beloved harissa adds a faint high note of heat. I tossed in some white sesame seeds, because I like how they look, polka-dotted against the emerald stalks. Don't limit yourself to dipping asparagus. You can also dip fresh carrots, cucumber slices, endive leaves, and raw zucchini slices. Although I haven't tried it yet, I think leftover sauce would also make a great salad dressing.

Sweet Miso Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tsp yellow miso paste
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 2 T agave nectar
  • About 1/4 tsp harissa, or to taste
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

In a small bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients until smooth. Stir in the sesame seeds, and start dipping.


mamapasta said...

Nice sauce, I guess it will be nice with a lot of food....I never hear about asparagus cooked in the oven...must try!

vko said...

hmm, i bet that sweet miso dipping is good dipping for almost that pic of Buttons below, lucky girl...xox

dreaminitvegan said...

What a great sauce! Love the asparagus!

Richa said...

thats a simple and cool sauce.! must try

-Richa @ Hobby And More