Daily Archives: June 5, 2009

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta & Rhubarb Compote


Panna Cotta is one of my favorite desserts.  It’s a light, creamy eggless custard with a texture that is simply divine. 

Panna Cotta is easily one of the most simple desserts to make.  I decided to make a lower fat variation of the traditional heavy cream based recipe. Since panna cotta is an eggless custard, you really have a lot of  leeway to make it as fattening or nonfattening as you would like.   No matter which way you go, it will be heaven in your mouth.  Trust me.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

  • 4 c low-fat half and half
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 packets powdered gelatin
  • 6 tablespoons cold water

Heat half and half, sugar  and vanilla bean (cut vanilla bean in half.  Scrape the inside with the back of a knife to get the seeds out.  Add seeds and bean to mixture) in saucepan until sugar has dissolved and mixture is very warm but not boiling.

In a medium bowl add the cold water.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let bloom for 5 mins.  You will notice it gets very thick.  This is a good thing.

Pour warm milk mixture over bloomed gelatin and wisk until gelatin has fully dissolved.

Pour mixture into 8 lightly greased remkins or vessel of your choice. 

Let chill in the refrigerator overnight.  When chilled gently run a knife along the edge to loosen the panna cotta making it easier plate.  You can always leave it in the remekin and pour whatever you like over the top as well.

Rhubarb Compote

  • 4 c chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • juice of one orange
  • 1/4 c water

Place ingredients in a medium sauce pan and heat on medium until the sugar is dissolved and liquid starts to bubble.

Turn heat down, cover and simmer until rhubarb is soft (about 10-15 mins).

Place in a container to cool in the refrigerator.  How easy was that?

I love the tangy compote coupled with the sweetness of the panna cotta.  I love when I loosen the panna cotta from the ramekin onto a plate the vanilla beans are all gathered at the top.

This is a wonderful summertime dessert.  I really hope you try this out for yourself.  You can top it with anything you like, or nothing at all.  It’s that good.


Posted by on June 5, 2009 in compote, panna cotta, rhubarb


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Seared Scallops w/a Cilantro Gremolata over Mustard Greens & Cannellini Beans

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I  totally fell in love with and was inspired by the recipe found here.  I tweeked it just a bit and the end results were fabulous.  The mustard greens I got from HighCross Farm worked wonderfully with this recipe.


– 1 cup chopped cilantro
– 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
– zest of one lemon
– salt and pepper to taste
– 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until pureed. Refrigerate until serving. This packs a punch, so use sparingly.

Cannellini Beans and Mustard Greens

– 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 Tbsp shallots, chopped
– 1 bunch mustard greens (about 2 cups), stems removed and chopped in half
– 14-ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
– splash of white wine
– salt and pepper to taste

* I added a dash of red pepper flake for heat


Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flake and saute 15 seconds, until fragrant. Add shallots, and allow to caramelize for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mustard greens and cook for about 3 minutes, or until greens are wilted.

Add beans to the pan and stir to combine. Raise to medium-high heat and add a splash of white wine with a Tbsp or two of water to the pan. Allow a few minutes for the liquid to cook off. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

Seared Scallops

– 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 1/4 lbs of scallops
– salt and pepper to taste


Wash and dry your scallops completely.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Place a few scallops in the skillet. If they are bay scallops, cook for about 2 minutes on each side. You will know that they are done when both sides are light brown, and the sides are white.

To serve, place a few scallops atop the beans and greens mixture, and top each scallop with a small dollop of gremolata.

I encourage you to try this recipe.  You will not be disappointed.  Also, check out Kirby Von Scrumptious’ blog.  It’s one of my new favorites.


Posted by on June 5, 2009 in beans, greens, scallops, Uncategorized


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CSA Box 1

CSA 1 002

The 2009 CSA season at HighCross Farm has begun!  Today I received my first box of the season, and of course, I was not disappointed.

In the box this week:

  • Lettuce
  • Lemon Sorrel
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Chives
  • Rhubarb
  • Mint
  • Potted Basil Plant
  • Mustard Greens

I cannot wait to try the Lemon Sorrel.  I am pleased to see mint in the box as well.  I love how my box included a potted basil plant.  That is sitting proudly on my balcony as I type.

I have waited for what seems like forever for the new CSA season to start.  Now I can look forward to Thursdays again.

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Posted by on June 5, 2009 in CSA