Thursday, August 5, 2010

Share a Spoon: A Recipe from My Own Mad Man

A friend and I are splitting a CSA subscription this summer. A CSA is short for Community Share Agriculture. Basically, subscribers get a box full of fresh, organic, locally-harvested fruits and vegetables from a local farm weekly.

(If you're interested in finding your own CSA, check out

Being in a CSA has created all sorts of culinary puzzles. What do you do with five cucumbers, two onions, and two eggplants?

I posted this question to Facebook and got all sorts of answers, but decided to go with the advice of my friend Ryan.

I've known Ryan since I was fifteen. He is my real-life Don Draper from Mad Men because he works in advertising. That is, however, where the similarities end--- he is very nice to his charming wife and I don't think he chain smokes incessantly.

A digression about Ryan. He was watching the World Cup recently and was so into the score that he didn't realize he was watching the match with one Mr. Justin Timberlake. (He was at a commercial shoot). 

Anyway, when I posed my question, Ryan suggested I make Eggplant Curry with Cucumber Raita.

This is why he's the creative genius who meets former members of N'Sync and I wipe butts for a living.

I gave it a whirl last night, and not only is it delicious, it has the required five or less ingredients. Plus, it's Indian, which is automatically awesome. 

You need the following: 

One onion
Two small eggplants (or one big one)
Two jalepanos
One small can of tomatoes
Curry powder


1. Peel and slice the eggplant. Add some salt to the eggplant (both sides) and let it sit for at least a half hour to get the bitter joo-joo out of it. Pat it dry after a half hour.

2. Add a generous amount of peanut oil to a skillet. Dice the onion and cook it in the oil until the onions are nice and soft.

2. Next, dice the jalapenos. Remove the seeds unless you really love heat. Cook the jalapenos for at least two minutes. While you are doing this, dice up the eggplant and cook it. I just popped it in the microwave for about three minutes. 

3. Then, add at least two tablespoons of curry to the skillet. You can add more or less for taste. Open a window unless you love smelling like a call station in Bangalore.

4. Cook the curry and vegetables for about thirty seconds. Add the small can of tomatoes and then add a can full of water. Let it thicken. Add some cornstarch if it's too runny.

5. Add the cooked eggplant. Cook until flavors combine.

Serve with rice. (You can also use this sauce with chicken, lamb, etc.)

To make a full meal, add this Cooling Cucumber Raita.

1. Dice some cucumbers.
2. Add a bunch of dill.
3. Mix it with plain yogurt (I prefer Greek style).

And there you go!  Dinner, courtesy of the coolest friend I have, (besides all of my other friends).

For other five-ingredient-or-less meals, hook up with Brandee at Share a Spoon.

Think Tank Momma

PS--Click here for the funniest thing Justin Timberlake has ever done on Saturday Night Live. It's juvenile, yes, but it slays me every time.


Coby said...

See, I'm so so uptight about typos and stuff, I deleted my own comment.

What I had said was that I was just thinking tonight that I wanted to get this recipe from you! I'm so in love with eggplant, it's ridiculous. It's just so shiny and pretty, and the shape reminds me of my own rear-end.

Thanks for posting it!

shortmama said...

Looks so good!

adrienzgirl said...

Holy yumminess Batman! I LOVE eggplant! And I really appreciate the whole Mad Men and N'Sync and JT spin! That SNL bit is genius. I swear you and I...we are like two 13yr old boys giggling about the goofiest schtuff!

Thanks for Sharing! I linked ya! ;)

Anonymous said...

I really hate eggplant, but you make it look good!

That song cracks me up!

Formerly known as Frau said...

You crack me up...great recipe, love the SNL video...too funny!

Mama Zen said...

Cucumber Raita is divine!

clearness said...

I might have to get some dill and do the cucumber dill thing. That sounds good.

Tracie said...

I love Indian food. Since it's on my kids "No Eat" list I hardly ever get it. Maybe I should start making my own.

clearness said...

I'm so glad you sent the message, because it reminded me to message you back...I tried it...went to the produce store to get some dill (had the rest) and it's a cool refreshing snack! Thanks! I loved it!

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

"This is why he's the creative genius who meets former members of N'Sync and I wipe butts for a living." I laughed so hard at this I spit a whole mouthful of tortilla soup all over my monitor. You are so hilarious and brilliant, Nancy. And this recipe looks postively amazing. If my husband didn't hate Indian food I would make it tonight. But I'll probably save it for one of our girls nights in instead, since most of my girl buddies love Indian food. And so do I. Thanks for sharing!

Ms. Moon said...

Mmmmm. I could make that for dinner. I actually have the ingredients.
And Justin Timberlake?
I can't help it. I love him.

Erin said...

Eggplant is my lover. This looks sooooo good.

We did a CSA last year, but I didn't repeat because too often I was daunted by the amounts of certain things and I should have shared w/ someone in retrospect. But didn't think ahead.

Dick in a Box slays me every time as well. I am also in love w/ JT. I likewise enjoyed his Beyonce parody of the Single Ladies on SNL. Nothing better than JT in a leotard and heels!

MiMi said...

The dick in a box cracks me UP every time I see it!! LOL!!
I'm gonna check out the localharvest thing. :)

Buffee said...

Whoa momma! This sounds so delicious! I can't wait to go to the Farmer's Market and buy me some eggplants! YUM!

Thanks for sharing!

An Imperfect Momma said...

Looks interesting. Would love to try it

Erin said...

A CSA looks really interesting!
And everything looked so good until you said...ONION! =)

Unknown Mami said...

I never really liked Justin Timberlake until I saw him on SNL. Totally changed my outlook on him. And Dick in a Box is a classic as far as I'm concerned. Friggin' brilliant.

Ms. Moon said...

Nancy- I am about to make this for the second time. I am adding chicken and cooked carrots and mushrooms and sweet peppers and possibly some leftover okra and tomatoes. I can't wait. It will be an entire supper in a bowl with rice. AND, I am going to try and make roti to go with. Thanks again for giving us this recipe.