Brightland's own Hannah Milligan is kicking off our November Bright Rx Series: Appetizers. Hannah is the Operations & Supply Chain Lead for Brightland. Hailing from Arkansas by way of a few farms and mountain ranges in between the two, Hannah has lived in Los Angeles for the last 6 years. As a home body by nature, Hannah's favorite things are spending nights in hosting dinners for her friends, drinking coffee in the morning with her partner, and continuing her quest to watch all of the AFI top 100 films. Keep reading for our interview with Hannah and her must-make pumpkin crostini.
Q&A With Hannah
Brightland: What does living in a golden state meant to you?
Hannah: Taking the keys out of the mental ignition that runs on fears and doubts and handing them over to love that runs on truth, gratitude and goofiness. I don't always live in a golden state, but everyday I try to have at least a moment in the light.
Brightland: How do you unplug and disconnect?
Hannah: What I've soaked up from just about every piece of spiritual guidance I've ever received is that the key to detach is to focus on the sensory experience of whatever is around you. Cooking dinner has become my nightly practice. I engage with the sensations of cutting a carrot vs an herb, watching the emulsification of dressing, smelling the onion sauté, or hearing the crackle of the water content hitting the oil when you add the greens. It's body and soul nourishment.
Brightland: What was your favorite thing that your mom/dad/grandparent cooked for you when you were little?
Hannah: My dad is a chef by trade, so I have been extremely blessed to have always had food as the primary love language in my home. My favorite was the BLTs he made for me and my siblings on Saturdays, usually served on a paper plate with a couple of tangerines and chips. My mom would blast Sly & the Family Stone, and we would enjoy our Saturday afternoon together before my dad went to the restaurant for dinner service.
Brightland: What is your favorite way to use olive oil?
Brightland: What is your favorite item in your house? What touches make your house your home?
Hannah: Whatever breathes soulfulness into your house makes it a home. That can be the physical breath of your family, pets or plants, or material objects like family portraits, mementos from the pursuit of your passions, the stereo system that plays music you dance to, or the food in your pantry that you cook for your friends. My favorite thing seems to change all the time, right now it's my puppy's toy basket.
Pumpkin Crostini with Sage Crisps
- 1 baguette, sliced into approx. 1 inch thick slices
- 6 tablespoons Brightland's ALIVE
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (roasted and pureed, or canned)
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or micro-planed
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bunch sage leaves (~24 leaves)
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice (1/2 of medium sized lemon)
- 2oz of pumpkin seeds (pepitas for substitute)
- 2 teaspoons red pepper chili flakes (optional)
- Flaky sea salt to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 425 F.
- Place baguette slices on to sheet pan and evenly coat with 2 tablespoons of Brightland's ALIVE, and bake in oven, flipping once, for 12 mins.
- Whip pumpkin puree, ricotta, garlic cloves, nutmeg, salt, and pepper together by hand or in food processor until well combined and fluffy (about 2 mins).
- Separate sage leaves from bunches and remove excess stem for each leaf (by hand or with scissors).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of Brightland's ALIVE over medium heat in small sauté pan until oil glimmers
- Add sage leaves, working in batches, to make crisps. Fry each side for about 15-30 seconds until edges have just started to shrivel and color darkens. Remove from pan and set on top of washable cloth to absorb excess oil.
- Assemble the crostini. Over each baguette slice, spread pumpkin mixture, then drizzle lemon juice and Brightland's ALIVE, top off with pumpkin seeds and red pepper chili flakes (if using).
- Place one sage leaf (or two dependent on size) on each slice, and finish with a pinch of flaky sea salt.