Anisata’s aromatic aniseed flavour is the perfect partner for eggplant, tomato and creamy goat’s cheese (though the recipe works just as well without the goat’s cheese, if you prefer). This is great to make in summer, when tomatoes are at their peak.
Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch
4 ripe, good-sized tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons (4g) Mountain Pepper
Wild Herb Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon (8g) dried Anisata
1 teaspoon castor sugar
1 large eggplant (aubergine) cut into 8 slices 2cm each
2 eggs (or vegetarian alternative such as almond milk perhaps)
1 tablespoon water
½ cup plain flour or rice flour
30 g Lemon Myrtle Coconut Chilli Sprinkles mixed with 60g panko breadcrumbs
olive oil, for pan-frying
4 slices goat’s cheese (optional - please substitute vegetarian 'cheese' if appropriate)
chopped basil, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a flat baking tray with baking paper. Place the tomatoes on the tray, cut-side up, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Mix together the mountain pepper, salt and half the anisata and sprinkle evenly over the tomatoes, then sprinkle with the castor sugar. Place the tomato halves, cut on the tray with the and roast for about 1½ hours, turning the tray every 30 minutes.
Halfway through the tomato cooking time, slice the eggplant horizontally into four slices of equal thickness (about 2 cm). Using a ring cutter, cut the slices into disks ( approx 6-8 cm depending on the size of the eggplant).
Make an egg-wash by mixing the eggs with the water. Place the flour on a flat plate, and mix the Lemon Myrtle Coconut Chilli Nut Free Sprinkles/Panko with the remaining anisata in a bowl.
Dust all surfaces of the eggplant with flour, dip in the egg-wash so that it is thoroughly coated, then coat evenly with the seasoned sesame seeds and panko mix. Rest the eggplant disks in the refrigerator for 15–20 minutes – this will help the coating stay on during cooking.
Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to cover the base and heat over medium heat. Add the eggplant disks and gently cook on both sides until the flesh is tender and the coating is golden. You may need to adjust the heat to avoid burning the sesame seeds. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
Check the tomato and chilli halves – if the tomatoes are not quite cooked you can keep the eggplant warm in the bottom of the oven while they finish cooking. The chilli should be ready, so transfer it to a plate lined with kitchen paper and cover with a tea towel.
To serve, place an eggplant disk on each plate and place with a roasted tomato half and top with a slice of goat’s cheese on top . If you Choose a soft , spreadable cheese you may wish to put it on first and top with the tomato Garnish with a little fresh thyme.