Buttermilk Panna Cotta

with Balsamic Strawberries

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This simple panna cotta is all about the tangy flavor of creamy buttermilk topped with a sweet-tart spoonful or two of bright red balsamic-glazed strawberries. Photo to the left by Peter Frank Edwards.

Makes (6) 4-ounce servings

2  cups well-shaken buttermilk

1 ½  teaspoons unflavored gelatin

1  cup heavy cream

1⁄3  cup sugar

1  vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved

Pinch of kosher salt

Balsamic Strawberries (recipe follows)

1. Place the buttermilk in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin evenly on top without stirring. Let stand for 10 minutes, undisturbed.

2. Place the cream in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the sugar, vanilla bean and reserved seeds, and salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil for about 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, discard the vanilla bean, and pour the cream mixture into the buttermilk mixture, stirring to dissolve the gelatin.

3. Pour the panna cotta into six 4-ounce ramekins. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, until the panna cotta sets.

4. When ready to serve, dip the bottom of each ramekin in hot water (taking care not to reach the rims) for about 5 seconds to loosen the panna cotta. Run a knife around the inside edge and invert each panna cotta onto a serving plate. Spoon the Balsamic Strawberries and their syrup over the panna cotta and serve.


Balsamic Strawberries

Makes about 2 cups 

2 pints (4 cups) ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

Place the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar and vinegar on top, tossing to mix. Let stand for about 10 minutes, until the berries start to release their juices and the sugar is no longer grainy. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.



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