Burnt eggplant & goat's curd toasts with orange & sesame powder

by Fiona Smith | Cuisine issue #155
Serves: Makes 30If you can't find goat's curd, you can substitute it with goat's milk yoghurt that you have strained overnight through muslin, a mild fresh white cheese such as Whangaripo Buffalo Cheese Co Buffalo Fresca or even just plain buffalo yoghurt.

2 very thin pizza bases (I used Turkish Bread pizza bases)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 eggplant
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
125g goat’s curd
10g coriander microgreens or leaves, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Using a 5cm-diameter round cutter, cut circles from the pizza bases (you should get 15 from each base).

Place the rounds on a baking tray and brush with the olive oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container.

Heat a small frying pan over low heat then add the orange zest and sesame seeds. Cook, stirring, until the seeds are golden and the zest has dried out. Remove from the heat and allow to cool then place in a mortar with the chilli flakes and use the pestle to grind to a coarse powder. Stir in the poppy seeds and salt. Set aside.

Place the eggplant directly over the flame of a gas burner or barbecue, or under a preheated grill. Use tongs to turn regularly until it is completely blackened and soft. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Remove the stalk and skin then chop the eggplant flesh very finely. Put it in a bowl with the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and mix well. Taste and season.

To serve, spread a little goat’s curd on each toast and top with a spoonful of burnt eggplant. Garnish with a little coriander and a sprinkle of the orange and sesame powder.

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