One of the happiest (unplanned) parts of this recipe is that the dressing makes a totally perfect accompaniment to slow roasted salmon. In fact if you don't make the dressing for the asparagus you really need to try it for the salmon. It comes pretty close to this recipe for salmon amazingness.
All miso is not created equal. The darker the miso, the saltier it generally is. Lighter - sweeter. For an all-purpose choice my favourite 'colour' of miso is a light red and South River is a brand that I really like. For this recipe I used their 'Sweet-tasting Brown Rice Miso'. It's a bit hard to find but totally worth the effort. Or just order online.
To be honest I am not sure how much asparagus to suggest you buy. I used the better part of two large bunches and had more than enough dressing - in fact enough dressing for all of us to have some with our salmon as well. There were eight adults and six hungry kids at the table. Judge from there :)
slow roasted asparagus with miso dressing
(adapted from Nobu's Vegetarian Cookbook)
To slow roast the asparagus:
Wash and trim the hard ends off the bottom of each stalk of asparagus. In a large bowl toss stalks gently with 1 tbsp of olive oil until coated. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 25 minutes, watching closely for the last 5 minutes to be sure not to over do.
3 Tbsp miso
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil (not extra-virgin)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
Combine the miso with garlic, soy sauce, oil, and vinegar.
Spoon the dressing over the roasted asparagus. Or over some salmon....you won't regret it.