Roasted Vegetable Spread with Miso

Most of my cooking is intuitive, but when I need some inspiration I am very predictable. I usually go to one of my two favorite cookbooks. This recipe is inspired by one in The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley.

I have made quite a few changes to the recipe, but the idea is the same. Roast a bunch of root vegetables then add some miso while pureeing. Berley’s recipe has button mushrooms added. Some children love mushrooms, others don’t. The mushrooms do hide somewhat in the recipe, so it’s worth a try if you have a child on the fence. For this version, I left the mushrooms out and added quite a few sweet vegetables. I was in the mood.

At some point, I will write a page about ingredients I use, but for now let’s just talk about miso. I look for a miso that is high quality, unpasteurized and made traditionally. I actually special order miso from Natural Import, a company in North Carolina that imports specialty items from Japan. If you are in the Seattle area, I place an order every 3-4 months and am more than happy to share shipping costs. One good miso company in the United States is South River Miso. Their miso is sold in some natural food stores or you can order directly online.

Roasted vegetable spread is another recipe that doesn’t really need measurements. Use whatever vegetables and seasonings you have on hand that sound good and see how it turns out. I haven’t tried cauliflower, yet. I will let you know how it goes.IMG_20121216_145756

Roasted Vegetable Spread with Miso

1 medium onion, cut in 1/2″ pieces
2 medium carrots, cut in thin half circles
1 small sweet potato, skin left on and cut in 1″ chunks
2 cups kabocha squash, cut any hard blemishes off skin and cut into 1″ chunks
4 medium cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chickpea miso (sweet miso, brown rice or barley miso would all be good here)

1.  Oven to 375°.

2.  In a large bowl, mix vegetables with the herbs, sea salt and olive oil. Spread in a thin layer onto a baking sheet. Bake in oven until all vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally to help them cook evenly. When done, remove from oven and cool.

3.  When vegetables are cool, puree them in a food processor. Add the miso and process a little more. Taste and add a little more miso if desired. Add a little water or lemon juice if you want a thinner consistency.

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