I love panna cottas. They're so easy and versatile and sometimes I just want something luxuiously creamy. I also wanted to make more vegetable panna cottas, and because I love the tasty earthiness of beets and appreciate its unique, vibrant color, I pulled some beets out of the ground and made this earthy, creamy and overall delicious panna cotta, combining it with ingredients that complimented and accented the beet's flavor as well as providing texture. —Linda's Kitchen
Reserve beet leaves. Peel and dice the beets. Cook the beets in 2 cups of salted water until very soft. Remove the beets to a bowl and strain the liquid through a sieve. Measure out 1 1/4 c. of the liquid and add to the beets. Blend or puree the beets with the liquid.
Add the butter and cream to the pureed beets and return to a clean pot and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin until well dissolved.
At this point, the beets may be strained for a very fine and creamy panna cotta, but I prefer it with the slight texture the pureed beets provide.
Pour the panna cotta into 5-6 small serving cups or ramekins and refridgerate for 6-8 hrs. If making ahead, cover the tops with plastic wrap after the panna cotta is chilled and set.
To remove the panna cotta, run a sharp knife around the edge and set the cups in hot water for about 30-45 seconds. Turn upside and they should slide right out.
Beet Greens with Walnut Oil, Balsamic Vinaigrette
Clean and chiffonade the beet greens. Saute in the walnut oil until wilted and soft. Turn off heat and add the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Let cool to room temperature.
Roast about 8-10 walnut halves in a 350F. oven for 10 min. Cool.
To assemble, arrange the cooled beet greens in the center of small plates. Turn the the panna cotta onto the beet greens as directed above. Reserve enough walnut halves to decorate the top of the panna cotta. Break up the rest of the walnuts. Add crumbled gorgonzola and walnut pieces around the plate. Serve as a salad or cold vegetable.