Appetizers

Kabocha Panna Cotta with Herb Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 T plus 1 tsp. Unflavored Gelatin
  • 2 c Whole Milk, divided
  • 1 1⁄2 c Heavy Cream
  • 1 c Roasted Kabocha Squash Purée
  • 1 T Lemon Thyme Leaves, chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. Kosher Salt, plus more, as needed
  • 18 ea. Baguette, sliced thin, cut on a strong diagonal
  • Pumpkin Seeds, toasted, store-bought
  • Flaky Salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground white pepper, as needed
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
  • Herb Jam
  • 1 bunch Scallions, chopped
  • 1⁄2 c Ginger, julienned
  • 1⁄2 c Garlic, chopped
  • 2 T Cumin
  • 2 T Caraway
  • 2 T Kashmiri Chili or another Chili
  • 1 T Ground Coriander
  • 2 bunches Chard
  • 2 bunches Lacinato Kale
  • 1 bunch each Mint, Cilantro, Tarragon
  • 1 Pinch Kosher Salt
  • 1 Pinch Sugar
  • Splash of Sherry Vinegar or Lemon, to taste
  • Olive Oil, as needed

PREPARATION

Sprinkle gelatin over 1⁄2 cup of the milk in a small bowl. Let soften for 5 minutes. Place the remaining 1 1⁄2 cups of milk, the cream, squash and thyme in a saucepan. Whisk to blend. Warm over moderate heat just until it begins to simmer. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatin, stirring until the gelatin dissolves. Season with 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Divide among six wide but shallow ramekin-like containers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours, or overnight.

To make herb jam: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a stainless steel pan. Wilt scallions, ginger and garlic, and add spices, sautéing until aromatic. Add greens, cook until soft, remove from heat and add herbs. Season and cool. Purée in a food processor or rough chop. Balance acidity with sherry vinegar or lemon.

Grill baguette slices and brush with oil before service. To serve, uncover panna cotta and add a spoonful of jam. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and flaky salt, and serve with toasted bread. Makes 6 servings.

Chef/Owner Sophina Uong, Mister Mao, New Orleans, from Food Fanatics® Magazine.