This yummy baked eggplant recipe is an adaptation of a recipe I found from 1998 on the site epicurious.com that collates amazing recipes from all different sources. For my version, I decided to give it a native twist by adding our Peppermint Gum, Native Basil and Native Pepper Berry Leaf. The herbs give this dish a fragrant sweetness and teamed with the tangy goats cheese and fresh tomatoes, this sauce compliments the soft silky eggplant perfectly.
Serve as a main meal or alongside some grilled meat for a great side dish.
Spices used in this recipe
Australian Native Pepper Berry Leaf
Australian Native Pepper Berry Leaf, also known as ‘Mountain Pepper’ or ‘Tasmanian Native Pepper’, is one of Australia’s top native superfoods said to have four times the antioxidants of blueberries. This pepper is as delicious as it is healthy with a fruity peppery flavour that can be used in cooking or to season food when serving. Compared to our everyday pepper, Australian Native Pepper Berry Leaf has more of a herbal flavour and packs a spicer, sharper and hotter punch. After harvesting the leaves, we have dried them to lock in the flavour and aroma; the snap-lock seal on our barrier-proof packets also ensures it retains its flavour for many uses to come. An authentic taste of Australia.$4.99
Australian Native Peppermint Gum
Australian Native Peppermint gum grows in the woodlands and forests of South Eastern Australia and has peppermint flavoured leaves which are glossy grey to grey-brown. The essential oils in the leaves smell like Peppermint and Eucalyptus gum and taste slightly minty. Use in sweet and savoury dishes for an aromatic minty kick.$4.99
Preheat oven to 250C, lightly grease 2 large baking sheets. Arrange eggplant rounds on prepared sheets; brush lightly with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake 10 minutes. Turn rounds over and bake until tender and golden, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 180C
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes with their juices, peppermint gum and native basil and simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 3/4 cups, breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and mountain pepper.
Spoon half of tomato sauce into shallow baking dish. Arrange eggplant rounds atop sauce, overlapping slightly. Spoon remaining sauce over. Sprinkle cheese over. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.