Summer is coming in fast, and I cannot believe it is here again. Every year, from about late September onward, I anxiously await summer's return, and because I want it to be here again so badly, I feel like the colder months drag on and on ...... but not this year. This year it feels like hardly any time has passed. This year it feels like it was not that long ago that I was making myself a smoothie and heading to the beach to watch michael surf. Maybe it's because we had a mild winter, or maybe it's because time is moving faster ..... either way, I cannot wait to embrace summer and all the wonderful things it brings to life.
I am planting my garden this weekend, late I know, but my less than green thumb doesn't have the best luck with growing from seeds, so I used sprouted plants. I cannot wait for the mornings when I can walk out to the garden and snip off some kale and mint for my smoothies, and arugula and tomatoes for my salads. But before I get too far ahead of myself, I am going to continue to relish in the last of the spring veggies. The asparagus, ramps, wild garlic, artichokes, some of my favorites that will be gone too quick to make way for all the tomatoes and zucchini.
A couple of summers back, I made this miso butter, and covered my summer veggies in it. It was then that I declaired that miso butter is basically crack that can make just about anything taste amazing, and that if I am going to treat myself to some butter, there better be miso in that butter. So this time I am doing the same, but to asparagus, and I have to say ...even though miso butter can make anything taste amazing, it has a particularly special effect on sautéed asparagus. Trust me on this. Throw some wild garlic in there, as well as some yummy fava beans, and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the last of the spring veggies, and the un-offical beginning of summer.
asparagus + fava beans + wild garlic miso butter
for the miso butter:
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons of white miso
2 tablespoons of minced wild garlic (or chives, or green onions)
for the asparagus + favas:
about 2 dozen asparagus spears, trimmed
10 fava bean pods, beans removed and peeled, and then roughly chopped
Make the miso butter:
- In a small bowl, mix the butter, miso, and wild garlic until evenly incorporated. Set aside until you're ready to use. You can also do this in advance and store in the fridge for whenever you're ready to use. You can form it into a log, using plastic wrap, or you can keep in in the small bowl, covered.
Cook the asparagus + fava beans, and serve:
- In a large cast iron, heat a couple tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus, and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is brown and fork tender. Be careful not to overcook though, you do not want mushy asparagus. Remove and set aside on a serving plate.
- In the same pan, add a little more oil, and then the fava beans. Cook for a few minutes, until tender. Remove and sprinkle over the asparagus.
- Add a spoonful of the miso butter to the asparagus and fava beans and some black pepper, and toss to evenly coat. Serve warm.