Armenian Eggplant with Yogurt


2 large globe eggplants, cut into 1" cubes
Olive oil
1 quart plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced (or more or less to taste)
Fresh tomato, optional


Salt the eggplant cubes generously and let drain in a colander at least half an hour. (This keeps it from absorbing as much oil and seems to take out the bitterness as well.) Then rinse the eggplant in water and pat dry.

Heat 1/2" or so of olive oil in a large skillet and add a layer of eggplant cubes. (You may have to work in batches.) Fry, turning frequently, until really golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and spread out in a layer in the bottom of a 9"x13" baking dish.

Mix yogurt and garlic. Spread this mixture over eggplant. If desired, cut tomato in half and gently grate cut side of tomato over top of yogurt layer as garnish. (It will give it a sprinkle of pink to the dish.) Serve cold or at room temperature.