1/4 cup Basil Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette (SEE BELOW)
For the basil sun-dried tomato vinaigrette:
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped basil
Salt and pepper
To make the tomato jam, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the sugar, without stirring. As the sugar syrup begins to colour, gently swirl the pan to help it brown evenly. As soon as the caramel is a golden brown, carefully pour in the sherry vinegar. Immediately add the onions, bay leaves, thyme, vanilla bean, ginger, and chili flakes; stir well.
Add the diced tomatoes and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until almost all the tomato juice has evaporated and the tomatoes thicken, about 20 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and salt and pepper; cook for another five minutes or until no watery tomato juice is present. If using right away, remove and discard the vanilla bean, bay leaves, and thyme. If using another time, leave these in to infuse the flavour further. (The jam will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator.)
To roast the eggplant, preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C). Brush the eggplant generously with olive oil on both sides. Place cut side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Crumble 30 grams of goat cheese on each eggplant half and sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Roast until soft and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining goat cheese and cream until smooth. Add the chives, parsley, and chervil. Season with salt and pepper. Smear some goat cheese on a plate and place the eggplant on top. Spoon some tomato jam over the warm eggplant.
Toss the arugula and pine nuts with the vinaigrette and nestle on top of the eggplant.
For the vinaigrette:
In a small bowl, whisk together the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, wine vinegar, shallots, and garlic. Add the oil in a stream, whisking constantly until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper.