Cooking From Every Angle

Spinach and Garlic Panna Cotta

March 16, 2010 • 27 Comments

- Merrill

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

Serves 4

  • 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

1. Combine cream, 1/2 cup milk, garlic and bay leaf and bring to a boil over medium low heat. When it just starts to simmer, turn off the heat and let infuse for 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Combine 3/4 cup milk, spinach and nutmeg in a blender and blitz until smooth. Put the remaining 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let it soften for about 5 minutes.

3. Stir the gelatin and milk into the infused cream and gently reheat over a low flame, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the spinach mixture, salt and ground pepper to taste. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to get all of the liquid, and pour into 4 ramekins. Refrigerate for several hours, until set. To unmold, dip the ramekins in a bowl of hot water for about 10 seconds and turn each panna cotta onto its own plate.

Jump to Comments (27)

Comments (27)

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about 1 year ago Mo Grodzki

I am delighted to have found this recipe! It will be perfect with a stuffed pork roast I am planning for this weekend. One question: can it be made ahead, say a day before?

Raquel4

over 4 years ago RaquelG

Merrill, so beautiful! Now thinking about possible variations such as half basil, half spinach... or even mint/spinach to go with your leg of lamb!

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over 4 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Wow! This looks incredible and so very original and inventive. Looking forward to trying it!

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over 4 years ago chez danisse

This is so beautiful! I love the idea of a savory panna cotta. Thanks.

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over 4 years ago chrisw

My daughter and I make sport of rating panna cotta offerings wherever we encounter them - usually as dessert. But, panna cotta in any guise is most welcome and we will take great pleasure in giving this inspired version a whirl - thank you for expanding our horizons!!

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over 4 years ago Veronica

So, so beautiful! If I were more organized I'd have added this luscious looking treat to our St. Patrick's day fare of ho-hum (looking) corned beef and cabbage tonight. The wonderfully green, silky and wobbly would have been the the MOST welcome addition. Maybe this weekend? Thank you, Merrill!
xo

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're welcome!

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over 4 years ago Aliwaks

Merrill, is it weird that I want to rest my cheek against that panna cotta? It looks so marvelously cool and silky.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Not weird at all. Although I wouldn't recommend it.

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over 4 years ago Rhonda35

Sounds wonderful! Now, if only I could get someone to consider my "jiggle" seductive! ;-)

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You said it, sister.

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over 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

I can't help but think how fun this could be in one of the old jello molds I have from my grandmothers. Imagine a two tiered star shaped green panna cotta. And it's St. Patrick's Day, too! Thanks, Merrill.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're welcome. I should have tried it in one of my antique molds, but I was afraid it would stick and we wouldn't get a photo!

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over 4 years ago shayma

that looks like a jade jewel i want to put around my neck! (and then eat).

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

What great imagery.

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over 4 years ago dymnyno

This sounds perfect for a Spring menu! I have to admit the ingredient "gelatin" has always put me off. I think it's time to dive into this one.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

If you do dive in, let me know how it goes!

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over 4 years ago Lizthechef

Perfect for my next spring dinner party. If only the little devils slide out of their ramekins...

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

If you dip them in hot water before you turn them out, these shouldn't give you any trouble.

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over 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

I LOVE the color of it, so bright and pretty. This new obsession reminds of that Colwin essay, "Desserts that Quiver."

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Love Laurie Colwin. Will have to revisit that one.

Catherinejagers

over 4 years ago CatherineTornow

The seductive jiggle hooked me. I've been wanting to try panna cotta for some time, and this looks like the perfect one.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks!

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over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

So pretty! Thanks, Merrill.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're welcome!

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over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Oh, fun! I played a little with savory custards last summer, so I will definitely have to give this panna cotta a whirl.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope you like it! Let me know.