3 Crottin de Chavignol goats cheese (sliced in two horizontally)
2 large free-range eggs
100 ml milk
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
200 g panko breadcrumbs
100 g plain flour
500 ml sunflower oil
60 g wild rocket leaves
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
for the aubergine salsa:
1 aubergine (sliced in half lengthways)
6 cloves garlic (peeled and sliced in half)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
500 g cherry tomatoes on the vine
30 ml olive oil
30 g fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)
15 g fresh mint (shredded)
freshly ground black pepper
150 g caster sugar
20 ml water
100 g walnuts
Preheat the oven to 170°c/Mark 3.
Whisk the eggs and milk together to make an egg wash. Add the ground fennel to the Panko breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Lightly dust the goat’s cheese discs with flour and dip each in the egg wash and the roll in the breadcrumbs until well coated. In a large frying pan heat the oil, and then shallow fry each goat’s cheese on both sides until lightly golden, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on some paper towel, keep warm.
Place the aubergine halves on a roasting tray. With a sharp knife cross hatch the flesh on each aubergine. Put the garlic cloves and thyme in the incisions. Place the cherry tomatoes alongside and sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 45min and remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
Remove the flesh from the aubergine with a large spoon and discard the cherry tomato stems and thyme branches. Roughly chop the aubergine and tomatoes and place in bowl. Fold in chopped fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To candy the walnuts, place the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, making sure to roll the pan occasionally so sugar does not stick and burn. When the sugar is melted and dark golden brown add the water and leave to mix for a minute. Toss in the walnuts and swirl the pan to make sure they are all well coated with the caramel. Remove from heat and tip onto a tray lined with parchment to cool, and then chop roughly.
To serve, place a tablespoon of aubergine salsa in the centre of a plate. Put a crispy goat’s cheese crottin on top and arrange some rocket leaves around. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some candied walnuts.