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)
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.
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.