Darya Pino Rose

I'm Darya Rose (formerly Darya Pino) and this is my personal blog. I'm the author of Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting, and creator of Summer Tomato, one of TIME's 50 Best Websites. I'm also a neuroscience Ph.D, NYC foodist, former dieter, & soulmate to .

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How I got Kevin Rose to like eggplant

Thai eggplant

Eggplant isn't easy to love. It's often slimy, frequently bitter and can be heartbreakingly flavorless. But it sometimes just takes one great experience to make us reconsider.

My boyfriend, while always a good sport about it, has made it pretty clear that eggplant is not his favorite food. He says it's a texture thing. So I've avoided cooking it for most of the season until I knew I could do something special with it.

That chance came this past weekend when I found a bunch of delicious Thai ingredients at the farmers market. I have a Thai eggplant dish up my sleeve that is pretty spectacular, and one of its features is that the eggplant is pan fried in light oil, so doesn't get very slimy.

I usually make this dish with Thai basil, but that is no longer in season so I used fresh mojito mint and cilantro instead.

I served the eggplant with some brown rice and it was a huge success. If you prefer, it's even better served with rice noodles.

"I can honestly say this is the best eggplant I've ever had in my life." -Kevin Rose

Darya's Thai eggplant

(serves 2)


  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 small stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Thai chilies, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2-3 Japanese eggplants
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves plucked
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh lime slices
  • 2 tbsp tea oil (coconut or olive oils also work)
  • Brown rice or cooked rice noodles

First, slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and cut into half inch pieces. Sprinkle generously with kosher or sea salt and let sit while preparing other ingredients.

Heat oil in a pan until hot, add onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add ginger, lemongrass, garlic, chilies and stir one minute. Add fish sauce and cook another 30 seconds. Add eggplant and stir.

Arrange eggplant in single layer in pan and cook until evenly browned, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. If the pan begins to get too dry, you can add another dash of oil, fish sauce or even soy sauce. When the eggplant is almost done, add the mint (or basil) and rice noodles if you're using them and cook until eggplant is done.

Remove pan from heat and stir in cilantro and squeeze on juice from 1/4 lime. Use the rest of the lime wedges and a few cilantro strands as garnish. Serve and enjoy.

Pairs great with Corona beer or dry white wines such as viognier. 


Mediocre pho at My Father's Kitchen

Mediocre pho

Pho is one of my favorite foods on earth, and I've been actively searching for the perfect bowl for years. I've had a few decent versions here and there, but never anything remarkable or consistently good.

I've always believed SF could do better.

So you can imagine how excited I was to see that San Francisco Chronicle food critic, Michael Bauer, had recently been to Vietnam and dubbed My Father's Kitchen the best pho replicate in SF.

I finally made it out there tonight, but to say I was disappointed would be a tremendous understatement.

The spring rolls were bland, as was the creamy peanut sauce that accompanied them (I added fish sauce and Sriracha to make them edible).

The noodles in the pho were alright--no clumps and not falling apart--but the broth had almost no spice or flavor. Even after adding lemon, jalepeno, fish sauce, vinegar and Sriracha, the soup was still barely worth eating. I even stole some cilantro off another dish to help it out, but to little avail.

So I'm a bit disappointed in both the restaurant and the critic, and am still looking for perfect pho.


Day 10 with Toaster: The TP episode

We've had our little man Toaster for a little over a week now, and he seems right at home. Here's a little episode from this morning while I was having breakfast.

P.S. If you're thinking about getting a puppy, I strongly recommend having a good vacuum.


We're puppy serious. Toaster is finally here!

What could be more serious than a puppy? Here's a little video of Toaster's first night home. Serious as can be.

I don't want to be too presumptuous, but I think he likes us. What do you think?

Follow our escapades on Twitter @toasterpup.


Finally some dried cranberries that aren't drenched in sugar

Dried cranberries

The bad news is we had to make the dried cranberries ourselves. The good news is it was easy pretty easy and they're delicious (albeit a little tart).

Cranberries in dehydrator

We did the dehydrating using the Nesco Professional Food and Jerky Dehydrator. It's a nifty little device for drying fruits, vegetables and meats. It also makes amazing kale chips (recipe coming) and fruit leather.

The cranberry skin needs to be punctured for the fruit to dry completely. Stab each berry with a knife before starting the dehydration. Set the temperature to 135 degrees and dehydrate overnight or until desired consistency is reached. Store them in a clean, dry container.



SF Superfoods: Apples 

SF Superfoods: Apples

My latest column at Edible SF is out. This season I focus on apples, their health benefits and how to best find and use them here in SF.

Hard copies will be available around the city starting tomorrow.