Basil Panna Cotta with Parmesan Mousse and Marinated Tomatoes

Basil Panna Cotta Parmesan Mousse Marinated Tomatoes

Basil Panna Cotta with Parmesan Mousse and Marinated Tomatoes

Happy (almost) Spring!  It’s so close you can smell it in the air.  Let’s get ready, shall we?  This week’s recipe is rich, nutty, cheesy, tart and fresh all at once.  Cherry tomatoes are available and tasty all year long and the marinade helps to bring out their summery sweetness.  I love to serve this bite as a starter before grilled meats and pasta dishes.   I hope you make it and I hope you enjoy!  Fire It Up!

Basil Panna Cotta with Parmesan Mousse and Marinated Tomatoes (Makes about 10 servings)

Ingredients/Basil Panna Cotta

2 oz basil leaves, chopped
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1 qt heavy cream
kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Basil Panna Cotta
Dissolve the unflavored gelatin in the cold cream. Put the cream in a heavy stainless steel saucepan and add the basil. Bring to a slow simmer, stirring frequently for 20 minutes. Pour into a silicone mold with 1-oz round cups. Refrigerate for about 3 hours.

Ingredients/Parmesan Mousse
2 cups heavy cream
4 cloves garlic, crushed with the back of a flat knife
3 egg yolks
1 packet of gelatin, dissolved in 2 Tbsp cold water
1 cup Parmesan, grated
kosher salt
white pepper
Kosher salt and white ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped basil
Method/Parmesan Mousse
Put the garlic cloves in 1 cup cream and simmer over medium-low heat in a small saucepan for 10 minutes.  Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in 1/3 cup of the warm cream. Add the egg mixture to the rest of the cream in the saucepan, whisking constantly. Continue to heat the cream over medium heat until thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Stir the softened gelatin into the cream and egg mixture and continue stirring until the gelatin is dissolved. Add the Parmesan, salt and pepper and stir until the cheese is fully incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat and set in a cool, not cold, water bath. Whip the remaining cup of cream to stiff peaks. When the custard is cool, but before it has started to set up, fold in the whipped cream and add the chopped basil. Season to taste and pour into a hotel pan. Chill the custard for at least 3 hours; overnight is best.

Ingredients/Marinated Tomatoes
3 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp garlic salt
1-1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 scallions, chopped
20 cherry tomatoes

Method/Marinated Tomatoes
Combine all ingredients except tomatoes in a mixing bowl and whisk well. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and put in a resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the tomatoes and seal the bag. Marinate at room temperature for up to 2 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Remove panna cotta from the mold and place into spoons. Spoon mousse onto the panna cotta and then put 2 tomato halves onto the mousse. Garnish with basil microgreens.

Chef Notes
All ingredients can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Be careful to properly measure the quantity of gelatin. If you use too much, the panna cotta
can be too firm and almost rubber-like.

You can create a very different combination of vegetables by making a rosemary panna cotta and a roasted garlic panna cotta and then topping with roasted eggplant and a balsamic mousse.

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