1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 thick slice sourdough bread
10 ¼-inch slices smoked eggplant
7 cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup shaved Parmesan
Drizzle 15-year aged balsamic vinegar
Fleur de sel
Extra-virgin olive oil
Chef Tip: To smoke eggplant, slice into ½-inch disks and marinate in mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, crushed red pepper, thyme, and rosemary for at least 1 hour. Then, smoke it for 15 minutes on a smoker, finishing it in a lightly-greased cast-iron skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side to give it color. Alternatively, if you do not have a smoker, just char it completely on all sides in a lightly greased cast-iron skillet set over medium heat for a similar smoky effect.
- Mix ricotta with lemon and rosemary. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Sprinkle sourdough slice with a bit of water and toast to golden brown.
- Top with eggplant disks, tomatoes, Parmesan, and drizzle balsamic. Finish with torn basil, fleur de sel, and drizzle of oil.
We love a morning toast as much as anyone, but what we’ve really been digging lately is the “anytime” toast. We’re talking toast as meal. The toast you can have as satisfying snack, as brunch alongside a bloody or a beer, or heck, even as dinner washed down with a glass of red. We hit up a Charleston neighborhood hotspot, The Park Café, where Chef Blair Machado has been toasting the town as executive chef since last summer. So go ahead and have your bread and butter. But also add Blair’s creations to your edible repertoire. They’re bigger, bolder, and, dare we say it, even better.
- From Chef Blair Machado of The Park Cafe in Charleston, South Carolina