Panna Cotta: The Dish You May Not Have Heard Of, But Need to Try!
At a recent staff meeting where we discussed upcoming blog posts—including this one—my colleague asked, “What is panna cotta, anyway? A dessert? A side dish?” I suspect she is not alone in her confusion, because panna cotta doesn’t have a long history in United States regional cooking. However, given its versatility in flavors and ease in making, it is definitely a dish worth trying!
Panna Cotta has an Italian heritage and is, at its most basic, a mixture of cream and gelatin that is molded. The name translates to “cooked cream.” It shares similarities with other dishes, including flan, custard, Bavarian cream and crème brûlée. Most of these are sweet desserts, and while panna cotta can be sweet, there are many savory versions to enjoy.
Here is our chef’s take on panna cotta, along with some other delights we found. Whatever you choose—sweet or savory—these dishes are an easy delicious way to cool down on a hot summer day. And they are all Undeniably Dairy!
Sweet Panna Cotta
This light, silky, eggless custard makes a great summertime dessert. Top it with your favorite fresh fruits and/or chocolate sauce.
For a dessert that look so rich and indulgent, it is surprisingly simple to make.
Leave it to the Barefoot Contessa to come up with a purely adult, purely delicious version of the theme.
Savory Panna Cotta
These wickedly-rich, Parmesan-pepper custards get topped with a relish of fresh herbs and tomato bits – a perfect way to use the bounty of these foods from the garden this time of year.
If parmesan is good in panna cotta, gruyere might be even better! A sweet-and-savory relish made from bacon, corn and tomato really enhances these creamy appetizer custards.
Delicious savory panna cotta PLUS candied bacon – how could we not include this recipe in our roundup!