Heat the oil gently in a frying pan. Peel the onion, chop finely and fry for 5 minutes, or until soft.
Cut the eggplant into 1-cm cubes. Add to the onion and stir over moderate heat for 8–10 minutes, or until soft.
Drain and chop the sun-dried tomatoes and the gherkins and add to the eggplant. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them in.
Strip off the thyme leaves and chop finely. Reserve some parsley for a garnish and chop the rest. Add the chopped herbs to the pan, along with the mustard, vinegar and capers. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice and toast the French bread, or dry fry it on a ridged hotplate.
Season the eggplant mixture, then blend in a food processor or mash to a paste by hand.
Spoon the pâté onto individual plates, sprinkle with the reserved parsley and serve with the toasted French bread.
NUTRIENTS PER SERVING:
good source of vitamins B group, C and E, and selenium.
As this pâté tastes equally good either hot or cold, it can be made in advance and served chilled, or reheated just before serving.