Eggplant with Tomatoes and Mint

Ingredients

3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
5 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (1 pound) can peeled Italian tomatoes, frained and chopped, juices reserved separately
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Directions

Serves 4

Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the salt over the cubed eggplant. Place in a colander, top with a plate and 2 cans of food to weight it down. Drain for 15-20 minutes with a bowl underneath, then pat the eggplant dry with a towel and set aside. Discard the drained eggplant juice.

In a large nonstick saute pan set on high heat, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the drained eggplant and cook for 5 minutes, tossing twice. The eggplant should be nicely browned, which wil increase the flavor of the dish. Add the garlic, mint and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar (if you wish: see Chef's Tip below) and the remaining salt and cook 3 minutes, tossing twice. Add the reserved tomato juices, reduce the heat to medium and let cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately or refrigerate overnight and serve the next day at room temperature.





Chef's Tip:

The sweetness of canned tomatoes varies greatly. The amount of sugar used in this recipe can be adjusted up or down, depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes.