I’m told that white miso comes in two varieties – the funky kind sold by my oriental grocer, and the westernized kind available at your neighborhood Whole Foods. Before I learned of this dichotomy, I was convinced that my Asian grocer was sadistic and having a good laugh at my expense. I bought the miso with the intention of making Momofuku Miso Butter, which just seemed like all kinds of deliciousness. Once home, I discovered that the miso was outrageously strong.
I popped it in the freezer with the intention of saving it and finding a way to work with it, only to find that you practically have to suspend miso in liquid nitrogen to get it to solidify. This discovery was made quite by accident, when I found my toddler in the freezer, having gotten into the miso, and eating it like it was candy. He screamed like mad when I took his miso away.
Going into this week’s share, I had leftover cilantro plus two new bunches. It was clearly time for a main-dish cilantro deal, and Miso Cilantro Pesto seemed like just the thing. My husband and toddler loved it. I struggled with it a bit, only because the miso flavor is so prominent. In the future, I’d just give in and buy the Americanized miso from Whole Foods.
Miso Cilantro Pesto
(adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen)
1 C packed cilantro (or more)
1/4 C white miso
1 1 in piece of gingerroot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp Asian chile sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
8 oz Noodles (soba or Chineese work well, but Western pasta works too)
sliced scallions for the garnish
Cook pasta according to package directions. In a food processor, blend all other ingredients except scallion until smooth. Serve pesto over noodles topped with scallions.