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This recipe is from the vegetarian cookbook Mediterranean Harvest. Soaking the eggplant in water first prevents it from soaking up a lot of oil when sauteed. Easy, healthy and surprisingly satisfying when served with crusty bread and olive oil for dipping.
- Place the eggplant in a large, wide bowl. Pour in the water, add 1/4 c salt, and stir together. Cover with a plate and place a weight, such as a can of tomatoes, on top of the plate to keep the eggplant submerged. Soak the eggplant in the salted water for 1-2 hours. Drain and pat dry.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, abut 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant.
- Add the eggplant and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until the eggplant is browned and just about tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and stir for a minute, then add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes begin to cook quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the eggplant is very tender and the mixture is thick. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in the basil.
- Transfer to a serving dish. Cool slightly and serve. This is excellent at room temperature.