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After the nice response to my black tea jelly post the other week, I couldn't stop thinking about other creative ways to use gelatin. Then this weekend, prompted by two of our recent recipe themes (Your Best Spinach Recipe and Your Best Italian Dessert), I found inspiration. Why not try a savory panna cotta, infused with garlic and bay leaf and tinted with puréed spinach? I once made a tomato panna cotta for my final exam in cooking school, and it was a miserable failure, splitting because of all the acid. But I knew I wouldn't encounter that same roadblock with spinach.
So, on Sunday evening I got to work and this time was lucky enough to meet with success. Don't be fooled by the name of this dish: it's unapologetically rich, and merely "scented," as Amanda pointed out, with spinach. This panna cotta is not intended to serve as one of your 6 to 8 recommended daily fruits and vegetables. But it will win over your guests with its delicate, pale green hue, its creamy, garlicky flavor, and its seductive jiggle. I plan to serve it next alongside herbed leg of lamb and the first asparagus of the season. I hope you enjoy it!
Spinach and Garlic Scented Panna Cotta
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 fat clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup packed frozen or freshly cooked chopped spinach (thawed if frozen and as much water squeezed out as you can)
- Large pinch freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 packet (2 teaspoons) powdered gelatin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper