Savory Carrot Panna Cotta

By • February 27, 2011 • 26 Comments

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Author Notes: The idea for this recipe came from an article a friend sent me a few years back which was about savory panna cotta thickened with agar agar instead of the traditional gelatin. The beauty of the agar agar is that it allows the panna cotta to be served at room temperature or slightly warmed. The article contained a kabocha squash panna cotta as well as a porcini panna cotta. The recipe I came up with is a bit like a carrot soup in a more solid form. The texture is smooth and silky. The carrots lend a lovely orange hue and a subtle sweetness. It can be served at room temperature to accompany a lightly dressed green salad. It can also be served warm as a fun play on a soup course. hardlikearmour

Serves 4

  • canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 & 3/4 cup water (plus additional if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon agar agar flakes or 1 teaspoon agar agar powder
  • 4 large carrots (about 1 lb), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small stalk celery, cut into chunks
  • 2-inch section of fresh rosemary stem (with leaves)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 2 stalks flat leaf parsley
  • table salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fromage blanc, or other soft, tangy cheese
  • cayenne pepper
  • white pepper
  1. Heat oven to 400º F with rack in center. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly coat the inside of 4 6-oz ramekins with oil, and set aside.
  2. Combine water, agar agar, 6 carrot chunks, celery, rosemary, bay learf, peppercorns, allspice berries, parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat, scraping bottom of pan occasionally, then reduce heat to low while you are roasting the carrots. Continue to scrape bottom of pan occasionally as the agar agar likes to settle.
  3. Place remaining carrot chunks on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with a few tablespoons of oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with table salt. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring carrots once. They should have some caramelization and you should be able to pierce them with a fork, but they don't need to be falling apart soft.
  4. Allow carrots to cool on pan and remove agar agar broth from heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer carrots to blender. Strain agar agar broth through fine mesh strainer into blender. Add heavy cream, goat cheese, and a pinch or two of cayenne, and additional water to bring the volume just above 2 cups. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides of blender as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, white pepper, and additional cayenne if desired, blending briefly to fully incorporate.
  5. Evenly divide the mixture between the 4 prepared ramekins. Pick up and drop each ramekin (from an inch or so) several times to settle and help remove air bubbles that may have formed. Set aside for about an hour for the agar agar to set.
  6. Run a thin knife around edge of panna cotta, then flip ramekin onto serving plate or bowl. Wiggle and shake a bit to release from the ramekin. Serve warm with a drizzle of cream thinned crème fraiche, a dusting of paprika, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley as a "soup" course. Serve at room temperature alongside a lightly dressed lettuce or arugula salad with a sprinkling of chopped nuts as a salad course.
  7. NB: The panna cotta can be heated for 5 minutes at 350º F in the ramekin or on the serving plate. It gets nicely warmed and holds it shape beautifully.

Tags: Appetizers, fun, Salads

Comments (26) Questions (0)

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Dscn2212

over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This looks impossibly wonderful.

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, boulangere! If you haven't played with agar agar for panna cotta, you should definitely give it a go. It doesn't give you the rubbery texture that can happen w/ too much gelatin, and it really holds well at warmer temperatures.

Dscn2212

over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

On my shopping list.

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

You will not regret it! The agar agar powder dissolves MUCH better than the flakes, and can be found at Asian markets. 1 t powder = 1 T flakes.

Junechamp

over 2 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

mmm this would be good with butternut squash, too.

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, CJ! Here's the link to the online version of the article which inspired this: http://www.elledecor.com...

Me

over 2 years ago wssmom

Carrot soup with a fork!! What a great idea! I adore carrot soup!

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

It's a fun presentation!

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over 2 years ago clintonhillbilly

Sounds delicious, and thanks for using agar agar instead of gelatin, now I can make it for my vegetarian wife!

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm a HUGE fan of agar agar in panna cotta. It keeps it's texture beautifully at a much wider range of temperature.

New

about 3 years ago Happyolks

yum! wow, I would have never thought of anything like this, totally going to need to give it a try. Maybe I'll try greek yogurt instead of heavy cream?

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Should work with greek yogurt; will be more tangy, so maybe go with a sweeter cheese like ricotta or mascarpone. I'm pretty sure you could do it with any carrot soup recipe you like, too.

Dsc_0122.nef-1

about 3 years ago Panfusine

very creative... love the concept of a solid soup which melts in your mouth!

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks! It has a really nice silky texture, plus it's a bit unexpected which makes it fun to me.

Sunflower_profile

about 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

Oh yeah - making this one! How original!

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Let me know how you like it! I found it to be oddly yummy, especially slightly warm.

Henrykiss

about 3 years ago arielleclementine

a perfectly lovely idea! so pretty!

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I like the presentation; it's unexpected and fun IMO. I'm pretty sure you could use any carrot soup for this, just dissolve 1 T of agar agar per 2 cups or so. The agar agar can be stubborn about dissolving, so make sure to strain it to remove any clumps. It overall is more texturally forgiving than gelatin, and doesn't seem to get rubbery in my experience.

Katherine_photo

about 3 years ago kmartinelli

Oh wow, another winner! Love this recipe.

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, k! I tinkered with it a bit, and am happy with the result, though I may tinker some more.

Newliztoqueicon-2

about 3 years ago Lizthechef

I love this original recipe - what a beautiful presentation for a dinner party!

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I think it jazzes things up! Thanks, Liz.

Ry_400

about 3 years ago melissav

Very creative!

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, melissav!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yum! This sounds delicious!

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, mrslarkin!