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Basil Panna Cotta Burrata with Arugula Pesto

Season: Summer

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Panna Cotta is a no stranger at the Italian table. This is a bright variation with the first offering of basil at the market. Paired with burrata, beets and summer tomatoes this sweet & savory dish is packed with flavor.

Serves 8 small ramekins

2 big bunches of basil

1 1/2 cups organic whipping cream

1 tbsp. gelatin powder 

(with enough water to form a paste)

1/2 vanilla bean (scraped)

1/3 cup coconut or pure cane sugar

Blanch basil leaves (no stems) in pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Place immediately in ice bath.

Remove basil from bath. Its ok to have a little water clinging to basil. Put in blender and pulse several times. Put basil liquid through a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the liquid into a bowl.

Set aside.

Warm cream in small pot with half a vanilla bean, scraped out of pod with a paring knife. Do not bring to a boil. 

Add sugar and stir. Add gelatin paste to simmering cream and whisk in. 

Add liquid Basil to cream and stir.

Pour cream mixture in mini ramekins. If serving as a dessert you can use larger ramekins.

Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Change plastic wrap at least once, so there is no condensation.

When ready to serve, place ramekins in hot water bath for 30 seconds. Remove and turn upside down to release panna cotta.

Other ingredients and assembly

2 beets, red & yellow

12 cherry or sun gold tomatoes

1 cup arugula

1/2 cup toasted walnuts

1/4 cup good olive oil

pinch of salt

fresh ground pepper to taste

1 tbs. lemon juice, or to taste

fresh burrata or buffalo mozzarella

basil leaves for garnish

Roast beets whole with a pinch of salt and olive oil. Wrap in foil,lined with parchment. Place in oven at 400, until tender, about 40 minutes.

Let cool and rub off skin. Cut both ends off and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut into small cubes.

You can steam the beets as well. Beets can be made a day or 2 ahead.

Season tomatoes with a pinch of salt and olive oil. Set aside.

Place arugula, toasted walnuts, salt, lemon juice and olive oil in food processor or mortar and pestle, and mix until combined. Can be a bit chunky. Taste for seasoning.

Spoon some arugula pesto onto center of plate. Place burrata on top, spoon some beets to one side and tomatoes to the other side. Place a few basil leaves and drizzle a bit more olive oil on top.


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