Miso Walsnut Sauce

Adapted from The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
This rich sauce can dramatically transform plain cooked greens or be served on a variety of steamed vegetables or over grains or noodles. You have the option of making the sauce with apple juice or with mirin (Japanese cooking sak,e, available in most Asian groceries and in the imported food section of many supermarkets). Miso-Walnut Sauce tastes more intense and slightly sweeter if made with mirin, but it's very good made either way. (You can also make it with half mirin and half apple juice, which is a delicious combination.)

This keeps for weeks if stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Reheat very gently before serving.

For information about Miso, click here.

2 cups mirin or apple juice
4 tablespoons light-colored miso
2 cups chopped, lightly toasted walnuts
1 to 2 tablespoon cider vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
2 small cloves garlic
Salt and cayenne to taste
  1. Place the mirin or apple juice in small saucepan and bring to a boil. (If using mirin, let it simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes to let the alcohol partially evaporate.) Remove from heat, add the miso, and whisk until it is mostly dissolved. (It doesn't have to be absolutely uniform.) Transfer to a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the toatsed walnuts, and purée until fairly smooth. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Stir in the vinegar and garlic. (If you are using mirin, add the full 2 tablespoons of vinegar to cut the sweetness a little.) Add salt and cayenne to taste.
  4. Serve the sauce warm or at room temperature over hot, freshly cooked vegetables and/or cooked grains and/or noodles.
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