A couple weeks ago I shared a photo on instagram of a pretty pea panna cotta with fresh flowers. Remember that? Yes, I do have quite a gap between when I make something and when I share it. It helps keep me sane, so I can be flexible with my time when I need to and I’m not scrambling to have something to post every week. 😛
Case in point, the hubs has been out of the country this past week, and I can tell you that I barely got this post together in time…and I made this weeks ago. Can you imagine if I had tried to make this last week to post this week? Probably wouldn’t have happened.
Anyway, fresh pea and lemon panna cotta. Sound odd? The hubs thought so when I told him I was going to make a savory panna cotta. Then I reminded him of the awesome abalone panna cotta we had at Manresa a couple years ago (do I dare attempt that? we shall see), and he was all about it.
This panna cotta in particular was inspired by an amuse I had at Luce with my friends over the holidays. It’s definitely intended as an appetizer or starter course unless you really love the flavor of peas. I enjoy fresh peas and the portions I show here were perfect for me.
The creme fraiche and fresh flowers help cut through the richness of the panna cotta, which is brightened just a bit by the lemon. The toasted pistachios add some much needed texture contrast as well as an extra savory note to the dish since the natural sweetness of the peas kind of toes the line between sweet and savory. The pistachios help anchor it decidedly into savory.
- ¾ cup fresh peas, shelled (about 1lb with shells)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp gelatin
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbs pistachios, shelled
- creme fraiche
- edible flowers for garnish
- Sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup of the milk and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
- Saute peas for about 5 minutes over medium high heat until they are just tender. (Or cook by desired method)
- Blend peas with the remaining ¾ cup milk and lemon zest until completely smooth. Add salt to taste.
- Transfer the pea mixture to a small saucepan and heat until the mixture is steaming and bubbling at the edges.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the gelatin/milk mixture until completely dissolved.
- (Optional): For a smoother panna cotta, push mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
- Ladle mixture into four individual serving dishes and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
- Place pistachios in a dry saute pan and toast, moving constantly for a couple minutes until fragrant.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- When cooled, crush pistachios using a heavy object (can, meat tenderizer, etc). You can place the nuts inside a plastic bag before crushing to keep things neat.
- Before serving, top each serving with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of pistachios. Add fresh, edible flowers if using.