I’m a little embarrassed to admit that the first time I bought miso I ended up throwing out most of it. It just seemed so weird, somehow, and I really didn’t know what to do with it. Now, I wouldn’t be without a tub of it in the fridge, and every time I smell it or taste it, I fight the urge to gobble up whole spoonfuls. The combination of miso, butter, and garlic is magical and transforms this simple recipe into a savory delight.


2 pounds baby potatoes

4 tablespoons nondairy butter, such as Miyoko’s

1 tablespoon mellow white miso

1 large garlic clove, smashed and minced

Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 small scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, or other fresh herbs


  1. Place the potatoes in a saucepan and add enough water to cover them completely. Lightly salt the water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and boil the potatoes for 15-25 minutes, depending on their size. They should be easy to pierce with a fork but not falling apart. Drain them well and let them air-dry for a few minutes. They will crisp up better if they’re dry.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Add the miso and garlic and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Brush a sheet pan with a little of the miso-butter mixture. In this instance, I do not recommend placing them on parchment or aluminum foil.
  5. When the potatoes have dried and cooled a little, place them on the oiled sheet pan and use the bottom of a jar, coffee mug, or glass to press them flat. The flatter they are, the crispier they will be. Aim for about ¼ to ½ inch. You could also flatten them with a potato masher. Let them air-dry a little more while you preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Brush the tops of the potatoes with the miso-butter mixture and sprinkle them with a little flaky sea salt and a lot of pepper.
  7. Roast the potatoes for about 30 minutes, until brown and crispy.
  8. Garnish with scallions or other fresh herbs, as you please.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at wendyandrayzer@yahoo.com.