It’s strawberry season in California! Oh boy.
I recently subscribed to an organic produce delivery service, Farm Fresh to You. Every other week I receive a box of organic fruits and vegetables from local farms and in my first box I received gorgeous organic strawberries, the first of the season. (I also received kale, collard greens, red leaf lettuce, 2 fennel bulbs, baby carrots, orange cauliflower, oranges, apples, and lemons. It was a little overkill so I switched to a smaller delivery plan, but the fruits and vegetables were delicious and I used up nearly all of them, thanks to the help of these produce preservers).
What to do with all those delicious strawberries?
Since Fin’s grampaw was coming into town to see his grandson, and since I have it on good authority that one of his favorite breakfast foods is a yogurt parfait, I decided to do a take on the yogurt parfait for a light after-dinner dessert: greek yogurt and vanilla bean panna cotta with fresh strawberry mousse.
The panna cotta is about as simple as it gets (if you can make Jell-O, you’re golden): gelatin, cream, vanilla bean, greek yogurt, sugar. Simmer the cream, gelatin, vanilla, and sugar, stir in the greek yogurt, then pour into ramekins or small glasses, and let set in the fridge. The mousse, not much more difficult: gelatin and crushed strawberries, stirred into fresh whipped cream and powdered sugar, set in the fridge. Put the two together and you have tangy and creamy panna cotta with light as clouds strawberry mousse. The tanginess from the Greek yogurt complements the sweet but slightly tart strawberries. Easy peasy.
But don’t stop there. I learned from my restaurant days that every creamy dessert needs a little crunch to balance out the textures in your mouth, so I topped my panna cotta mousse “parfaits” with crunchy crushed lady finger cookies and some chopped pistachios (for color and flavor contrast as well), and finally some diced strawberries. Beautiful, yet simple. A winning combination.
A light late-Spring dessert that’s sure to please any parfait lover, and a great way to showcase the gorgeous strawberries we’ve been enjoying here in California. Enjoy!