BLM & Smoked Eggplant Crostini


As I’m typing this out, The March on Washington 2020 is live streaming on my television. Yolanda Renee King, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s granddaughter, is bringing the house down with her powerful, youthful message of empowerment. Her strong female voice rings out reminding us that now is the time to master ourselves, as she calls on all of us to fulfill her grandfather’s dream. It’s impossible to not feel overwhelmed with emotion, as my heart bursts with pride at her tenacious courage during her speech and simultaneous sorrow over the fact that there is still a need for her to deliver it 57 years after her grandfather’s sermon on the same steps.

BLACK LIVES MATTER!

DEMILITARIZE THE POLICE: stop shooting unarmed Black people and get your goddamn knee off their necks! Stop beating and gassing and illegally arresting citizens who are practicing their Constitutional right to assemble and protest!

JUSTICE NOW: Police are NOT judge, jury, and executioners!

EQUALITY NOW!

Please, vote and vote on a local level! Vote for Mayors, Judges, County Executives, County Council and Board of Education members who will uphold the Constitution for ALL citizens, not just the privileged, and who will ensure systemic racism and discrimination is unapologetically stamped out. Please, vote.

Enough is enough! It is well past time for our Government to reflect the diversity of our communities!

Find voting information here: https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote

The motivational speakers today at The March on Washington 2020 has me all fired up for some good trouble and I’m looking forward to attending my Counties BLM Solidarity March this evening.

As Ayanna Pressley stated this morning, “Freedom over Fear!”

Oh, and here’s that recipe:

Smoked Eggplant Crostini with Fresh Ricotta

Ingredients:

1 whole eggplant, cut into 1/4″ slices

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp Aleppa pepper

salt and pepper per preference

1/2 loaf French bread, sliced on the bias, 1/4 to 1/2″ thick, and lightly toasted

1 lg heirloom tomato, sliced 1/4″ thick

about 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

4 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

3 tbsp vinegar

1 bulb black garlic, optional

1 sprig rosemary, optional

4 – 6 fresh sage leaves, optional

8 sprigs fresh thyme, optional

1/4 tsp fennel seed, optional

cheesecloth and kitchen twine

Method

Prepare a smoker or charcoal grill. If smoking, set a hickory block aside for later use.

Meanwhile, dress the sliced eggplant with the lemon juice, olive oil, Aleppa pepper, salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Once the coals are white hot, place the hickory block on the coals, and place the eggplant inside the barrel. Smoke 1 – 2 hours until the eggplant is tender and lightly charred. Remove from the smoker and set aside.

Prepare the fresh ricotta.

Prep a colander over a large bowl and securely cover the colander with cheesecloth. Set aside.

Place the black garlic bulb, fennel seeds, and herbs on a square of cheesecloth and bring the edges up around the ingredients to enclose them inside a satchel then tie off with kitchen twine. Set aside.

Next, in a large soup pot, over low flame, pour in the milk and heavy cream and bring up to a gentle simmer. Once simmering, turn off the flame, add in the vinegar and salt. Allow to curdle for a few seconds then carefully pour the curdles into the cheesecloth lined colander. Let the ricotta drain until your desired consistency is reached. A longer drain time will result in a thicker ricotta. Transfer the ricotta to a storage container.

Assemble the crostini.

Spread a generous amount of the infused ricotta on each slice of toasted French bread. Then layer on the eggplant, tomato, and fresh basil. Salt and pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

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