Put Miso Butter on Everything

April 9, 2024
Dining & Wine
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About once a week, I find myself eating miso butter off a spoon like a deer with a salt lick. (In case you’ve ever wondered what the glamorous life of a Cooking editor looks like, that’s mostly it.)

For me, it started with Sam Sifton’s recipe for miso chicken, a really lovely way to cook bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. That recipe, served with steamed white rice and the laziest possible version of a smashed cucumber salad, is an absolute no-notes dinner. But the compound butter is what made it into my regular rotation: just-softened butter mixed with white miso paste, honey and rice vinegar.

In his introduction, Sam suggests serving the unctuous spread “on salmon or flounder, on corn or potatoes,” all of which I’ve dutifully tried. I’ve also miso-buttered crispy tofu, roasted broccoli, pan-fried mushrooms and nearly every shape of pasta. I’ve spread it on radishes and on thick slices of sourdough, anywhere I crave the richness of butter with that unmistakable fermented tang of miso.

Of course, you shouldn’t believe everything a stranger writes on the internet. But I do hope you’ll believe me when I tell you to make this recipe.

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A more recent fixation of mine: full-fat Greek yogurt, a perfect food that constantly surprises me with its possible applications. I especially love it mixed with lime juice, feta and herbs and drizzled on top of Yasmin Fahr’s salmon and couscous salad with cucumber-feta dressing, a supremely springy dinner that makes for wonderful leftovers.

There’s a special place in my heart for recipes that require zero chopping. Ali Slagle’s one-pot tortellini with meat sauce is one such recipe — sweet Italian sausage and store-bought (straight out of the freezer is fine) cheese tortellini do the heavy lifting.

But sometimes, a little more effort is actually the draw. When making Yvonne Maffei’s dates with cream and chopped pistachios, for example, the act of pitting dates and stuffing them with nuts becomes meditative once you get into a groove. Topped with crème fraîche and fragrant citrus zest, these dates are a sweet way to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

If you prefer a recipe that lets the oven do the work for you, look to these Greek lemon potatoes from Ali Slagle. They’re roasted in a surprising combination of equal parts olive oil, lemon juice and chicken stock — it may seem like too much liquid, but the potatoes simultaneously steam and crisp, resulting in perfect creamy interiors.

Finally, even if you’re not in the mood for cookies right this second, I’m going to urge you to take a look at this recipe for double chocolate chip cookies from Samantha Seneviratne. They’re best when the dough has at least 24 hours to rest in the fridge, and Future You may be craving them in a day’s time.

That’s all from me! Wishing you a weekend of many wonderful meals.

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