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Wrapping up Russell’s spring menu is a strawberry panna cotta. “As a kid, I always loved strawberry Quik and strawberry milk shakes,” he says. “The combination of something creamy and cool with the fruitiness of strawberries, especially freshly picked in season, is hard to beat.”
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup goat cheese (Split Creek Farm)
- 3/4 cup strawberry purée
- 2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4½ tsp.)
- 6 Tbs. cold water
- 8 fresh strawberries
For the strawberry purée:
- 1/2 lb. strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Combine strawberries and sugar in a large saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the strawberries begin to fall apart and exude their liquid.
- Pour mixture into a food processor and purée until smooth.
Heat heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into the cream, then add the bean itself.
Stir in goat cheese and half of the strawberry purée. Cover, set aside, and let the mixture infuse for 30 minutes. Remove bean and re-warm mixture over low heat.
In a medium bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the cold water and let stand five to 10 minutes. Pour the warmed panna cotta mixture into gelatin and stir until completely dissolved.
Divide panna cotta mixture among eight five-ounce glasses and refrigerate until firm, about two hours. When ready to serve, top each with a dollop of purée and garnish with a strawberry.