Courgette panna cotta with fresh tomato sauce

Courgette pannacotta with fresh tomato sauce

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert which is nowadays very popular in France. In France, they also serve a non-sweet panna cotta made from vegetables as a first course.

We recently had a super courgette panna cotta with fresh tomatoes and broad beans in our hotel restaurant near Embrun in the southern French Alps. There the panna cotta was properly moulded before decorated with tomatoes and broad beans.

I made my simple twist of this recipe by serving the anna cotta in glass bowls and topping it with fresh tomato sauce. I also made the recipe lighter by replacing the traditional heavy cream with light cream 12% fat. Make this starter when the tomatoes and basil are at their best.

4 servings

1 medium size courgette
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
200 ml light cream 12% fat
2 gelatine leaves
2 tbsp. minced basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

For the fresh tomato sauce:

3 tasty and ripe tomatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
A pinch of salt
Basil leaves

In a small frying pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Wash and dry the courgette; Cut into small chunks and add to the pan. Peel the garlic clove, press and add to the pan Add black pepper and sauté for about 10 minutes. Then purée and set aside to cool.

Soak the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes until soft. Meanwhile warm the cream gently in a small casserole until hot but not bubbling. Remove the gelatine leaves from the water, squeeze out any excess water ad add to the hot cream. Stir until dissolved. Add the courgette purée and mix well.

Divide the mixture into 4 small glass bowls, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours until completely set.

Make the fresh tomato sauce just before serving.  Wash and dry the tomatoes. Cut into very small pieces and place in a sieve for a while o get rid of some of the excess liquid from the tomatoes. Then place into a bowl and stir with olive oil, black pepper, salt and minced basil leaves. Divide the tomato sauce on top of the panna cotta and serve.


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