I’ve been all about the veggies lately. I ate an entire plate of cooked spinach for lunch the other day – maybe I’m vitamin deficient or something. Or maybe, just maybe, my fridge is jam packed full of spring produce from TFP, so I can hardly find the milk. Hey, no complaints here; I’d take sugar snap peas over milk any day.
Especially dredged in miso butter, which is plainly addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. This winter had a mustardy croutons obsession, but effective today, spring’s all about the miso butter. We ate something very similar to this at the Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC a couple months ago; simply prepared baby turnips tossed with miso butter. No fuss, no muss, just the turnips and the butter. So today, unpacking the fridge, when I found a bunch of baby turnips (also called haruki turnips – if you’ve never had them, they’re mild, crunchy, small turnips you can actually eat raw; less spicy than a radish, but same idea), along with a bag of the sweetest sugar snap peas I’ve ever eaten, I went searching for that miso butter recipe in David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook. I found it hidden in plain sight within a recipe for roasted summer corn with bacon and onions (yes please.) At any rate, the butter couldn’t be simpler – one part miso to one part softened butter. Chang notes you want to mix well, “the butter should be one color, not a streaky mess.” Ok, got it.
Once you’ve have your well-mixed miso butter, this dish comes together in a synch. Sautee the turnips and peas in a little butter, add the rest of the butter and a little water or stock, finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, and you’re done. And the results? Oh. Boy. Even better than the version we ate in NYC, this was just insane with farm fresh veggies – the peas especially provide perfect little hollows to soak up the miso sauce. And that butter – thinned with a little stock, so it’s spoonable – is a salty, creamy, and sweetly miso-y delight. We ate this plainly, a second course after this salad (I told you, the veggie cravings), but you could easily make it more substantial served over rice or maybe soba noodles. Serves 2 to 4 depending.
For the Peas and Turnips
1 bunch baby turnips
3 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 ½ tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ tbsp miso (I used the brown rice version)
1/3 cup water or mild stock
Cut the tops off of the turnips, reserving about a quarter inch of the stem on the bulb. Wash well and quarter, then set aside. Cut the snap peas in half on the diagonal and set aside with the turnips.
In a small bowl, combine the miso and the butter and mix well. Set aside.
Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add half of the butter. Wait about 30 seconds and then add the turnips and peas and toss together. Sautee 1 minute or so then add the rest of the butter and the water or stock. Stir together and continue cooking and additional 2-3 minutes. Divide the vegetables between serving bowls or plates, squeeze over the lemon juice, and garnish with the chives or pea tendrils. Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.
A squeeze of lemon juice
Chopped chives or pea tendrils and lemon wedges to garnish