As this pate tastes equally good either hot or cold, it can he made in advance and served chilled, or reheated fast before serving.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
1 large, firm eggplant
10 sun-dried tomatoes
6 small gherkins
3 cloves garlic
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
A few sprigs of fresh parsley
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons capers
1 loaf of French bread
Salt and black pepper
1. Heat the oil gently in a skillet. Peel the onion, chop it finely and fry for 5 minutes, or until soft.
2. Rinse the eggplant and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes. Add them to the onion and stir over a moderate heat for 8 - 10 minutes, or until they have softened.
3. Drain and chop the sun-dried tomatoes and the gherkins and add them to the eggplants. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them in.
4. Rinse and dry the thyme and parsley Strip off the leaves and chop finely Reserve some parsley for a garnish and add the rest of the herbs to the pan, with the mustard, vinegar and capers. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, cut and toast the French bread, or dry fry it on a striped griddle.
6. Season the eggplant mixture, then blend it in a food processor or mash it to a paste by hand.
7. Spoon the pate onto individual plates, sprinkle with the reserved parsley and serve with the toast.
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