Basil Panna Cotta

Remember those creamsicles? While ideal for preserving individual portions, they didn’t work too well for my intended purpose: coffee creamer. For some reason, the fats from the cream floated to the top of the coffee, creating an unappetizing glassy layer on the surface and leaving a greasy residue on the lid of my to-go mug. So, I’ve mostly resigned myself to black coffee, with the occasional treat of half-and-half or fresh cream.

Eager to find another use for the cream cubes, I was already considering custard or panna cotta recipes when I came across Cathy Erway’s basil panna cotta in The Art of Eating In (which I finished last night — good book). Erway goes from coupledom to singlehood about half-way into the book, which tells of her 2-year mission to forgo restaurants, take out, food carts, etc.

Turns out, abstaining from restaurants somewhat complicates the typical first dinner-date routine. She has a guy over for dinner and endeavors to create a date-like meal and atmosphere. Apparently, she had fantastic luck inspiring romance, and credits her fresh basil panna cotta. While I didn’t experience this phenomenon, the indulgent dessert did garner appreciative moans.

Panna cotta is a good make-ahead dessert for dinner parties, date nights, pot lucks, etc. And because of the recipe‘s simplicity, you could have fun playing with the flavors. Instead of the basil-infused cream, next time I’d like to try chocolate panna cotta infused with mint.
basil panna cotta
Beautiful cream from Wagon Creek Creamery; basil from my garden.
You can see how the fat rose to the top of the panna cotta — just like what happened in my coffee, but more appetizing.

3 thoughts on “Basil Panna Cotta

  1. It seems like we are always looking for things to do with cream. I just pulled out your coconut custard recipe this week with that purpose partially in mind, although really it is the coconut I need to use up!

  2. Shut up! You had me at cream. This looks lovely and what a wonderful different thing to do with the prolific basil plants in my raised bed waving to me/bolting as we speak. I’m off to lop their heads off and give them over to a wonderful dessert. Thanks for the suggestion.

    I’m a new fan via Thinklady. I’ll be checking on you regularly from now on.

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