The thing about going away for a weekend, even if it is to a food blog conference where you are surrounded by people who think, breathe, and dream about food almost as much, if not more, than you do, is that you never quite eat the way you want to.
Whether it’s too much food, too little food, too much dessert, or not enough veggies, I always find it a bit of a relief to return home to my own oven and get something on the stove so that I can lose myself in the act of creating something that is exactly what I’m craving, all the while reflecting on the goings-on of the past few days.
Surrounded by vegetables, all needing a little bit of tending to. Spices that must be measured out. And with my favorite exotic smells wafting through my kitchen.
That’s just how I think best.
There’s so much to be remembered and parsed through after these things. Which tips will you incorporate into your life?
Which friendships and connections will you follow up on?
How many times will you pinch yourself at the thought that you were the winner of the Amazing Apps Culinary Challenge for your black olive gougeres? And that not only do you have a new iPad to show for it, but also $500 worth of OXO products waiting to be purchased? Pretty much incomprehensible. (Especially when considering where exactly you will store all of the aforementioned goodies. Hmm.)
Which is exactly why a good hearty meal, like this veggie-filled curry, is absolutely necessary after such a whirlwind weekend. You need it to fuel your memory and your ability to synthesize all that has happened, and all that you want to do in the coming days and weeks.
I love coming away from these conferences feeling inspired to make this little corner of the internet better and more compelling. So hopefully, there will be a lot of that coming up.
And in the meantime, there is curry. Always exciting, at least to my taste buds. And certainly always something I want to come home to.
One year ago…Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Two years ago…Pasta with Lemon, Baby Artichokes and Asparagus, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Lasagna, Strawberry Hazelnut Chocolate Crisp
Three years ago…Ravioli with Brown Butter, Almonds and Zucchini
Four years ago…Pumpkin Pasta with Broccoli, Gingerbread Pancakes
Eggplant, Red Pepper and Spinach Curry
Serves 4, adapted from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant,
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large vidalia onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup lite coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 10 oz spinach, washed and stemmed
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
- 8 oz dried tepary beans, soaked overnight and cooked until tender
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- Put the eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit on a paper towel for 20 minutes.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom and salt. Saute for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
- Rinse the eggplant and then add it to the pot with the coconut milk and water. Cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a second pot, cook the spinach in a bit of water until it is limp. Drain in a colander. Chop it when cool enough to handle.
- Add the bell pepper to the eggplant mixture along with the cooked beans. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach, lemon juice and season with salt to taste. Simmer until heated through.
- For the rice, combine 1 cup rice with 2 cups water in a small pan. Add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until water has evaporated. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before fluffing and serving.