Rinse eggplant, wipe dry and halve lengthwise. Score flesh with a sharp knife in a cross-hatch pattern. Place on a baking sheet, cut side up.
Drizzle olive oil sparingly over the eggplant.
Rinse thyme and shake dry. Season eggplant with salt and pepper and distribute thyme over the top. Bake inn a preheated oven at 200°C (fan 180°C, gas: mark 2-3) (approximately 400°F/convection 350°F), about 40 minutes.
Let eggplant cool slightly, then remove thyme. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh.
Finely chop eggplant pulp and place in bowl. Juice lemon. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the eggplant pulp and season with salt and pepper.
Rinse basil, shake dry and pluck leaves. Chop finely and mix well with eggplant.
Halve garlic. Cut bread into 1 cm thick slices. Rub with garlic.
Heat a grill pan (or skillet) over medium heat. Cook bread until brown and crispy on both sides.
Top the toasted bread slices with eggplant. garnish with coarse sea salt and extra basil leaves. Serve bruschetta immediately.