As I was thinking up this post the other day, and deciding to dedicate it to my mom and her renowned generosity, I randomly got a text from her saying she was in the area and wanted to hang out. My original idea, dedicating this post to my mom, stemmed from her recent gift of a new vegetable peeler, as without it this post wouldn’t have been possible. It may seem like an insignificant gesture, but this lady seriously can’t walk into a store without considering if there might be something I need, nor can she come visit me without stopping at a bakery to bring her friends a little surprise home. When listing the traits my mom and I share, a friend once said “..well, you both have a lot of pictures on your fridge and you’re both really generous..”. She’s been a dedicated nurse her whole life, always going above and beyond, so it’s not rocket science figuring out that she likes taking care of people, but I’m happy that other people notice her thoughtfulness rubbed off on me.
On her visit she surprised even me, someone who has known her my whole life (obviously), with her mind-blowing generosity; so yes, she at the very least deserves a little shout out on my little blog. Thanks mom, for everything, always. You are insane.Speaking of generosity, Rita at The Sprout House sent me tons of sprouting seeds in exchange for me creating recipes for them. I’ve been a customer of theirs for years, I bought my first seeds from them over 5 years ago, and it’s always a refreshing feeling knowing that not only does a company you trust supply a great product, but that it’s also run by great people. Their customer service is unparalleled.
Wisconsin is a hard (or some may say stupid) place to live for a person that is happiest with both hands in the dirt, endlessly entertained being a spectator to the whole process of seed to soil, seed to sprout, sprout to plant, plant to food, food to well-being, scraps to compost, compost to soil and back again. Sprouting seeds help fight the dejection that such a long winter inevitably brings due to their ability to grow so quickly in low light. In days when the moon is rising before dinner time, I’m still able to eat things I grew, in the soil created day-by-day by this voracious household (with even contributions from our pet rabbit). That is so important to me.
The sprouts in this post are The Sprout Houses’ Speckled Snow Pea sprouts (available on their website and on Amazon) which took around 10 days ’til harvest. They are tender, bursting with flavor and add such character to any windowsill they reside on. Zucchini is 98% water (if you’re curious, humans are 60%. To find that stat I googled “humans are water”) so after peeling, you’ll want to lightly salt it to draw the water out via osmosis. This will prevent the zucchini from becoming the soggy mess I’m sure we’re all too familiar with (and why people think they don’t like eggplant). Salt, let it rest while making the bean sauce, then squeeze. I was able to squeeze out nearly 2 cups of water from the zucchini used for this recipe.
They make fancy tools to turn vegetables into noodle shapes, but they’re totally unnecessary in my opinion. I love the results I get from a simple vegetable peeler..long, broad ribbons that are great at gripping your sauce.
The miso in the white bean sauce adds a deep, rich flavor. It tastes incredibly similar to an aged Parmesan (due in part to the umami flavor gained from fermentation in both products) so is equally well-placed on top of a pizza.
This dish contains only 210 calories, or about 10% of your daily calorie requirements, yet a serving fills 35% of your daily nutrient targets. 150% your DV of Vitamin A, 283% Vitamin K, a decent percentage for all your B vitamins and not to mention calcium, iron, fiber, folate, potassium…the list goes on and on. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made.
Zucchini in a White Bean & Miso Sauce with Ginger-Crusted Shrimp and Pea Shoots
serves 2 well or 4 as a small side
1 pound white beans, soaked at least 12 hours (mine sprouted in 2 days)
1 cup reserved cooking water from beans
1/4 bunch of parsley or 3/4 cup, stems and all
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp miso of choice (the lighter the color, the lighter the flavor)
2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
salt + pepper, to taste
1″ knob of ginger, peeled and diced
1 tsp dried sage
several snap pea shoots
Peel the zucchini in long, thick strips. Place in a large bowl and lightly salt. Let sit ~20 minutes before gently squeezing the water out thoroughly.
Bring the soaked white beans to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes-1 hour, generally dependent on how long you soaked them, or until very very soft. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Place parsley and garlic in the food processor. Blitz until finely chopped. Add one tablespoon of the olive oil, the lemon juice, red pepper flakes, miso and white beans. Blend until smooth, slowly adding in the cooking water until desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Toss the shallots and ginger until browned, then add the shrimp. Salt, pepper and season with the sage. Add the zucchini, stirring frequently for 4 minutes. Add a few dollops of the white bean sauce, stirring to coat evenly. Garnish with snap pea shoots before serving.