One swallow does not make a summer – unless it’s a mouthful of lavender and raspberry panna cotta, that is. Lavender is the very epitome of summer, which makes it the perfect ingredient in recipes during the warmer months.
On Saturday, Damon and I served this panna cotta as the finale to dinner with friends. The weather may have let us down, but the dessert didn’t.
We had invited four friends to a barbecue – but the howling winds and plummeting temperatures meant that we had to move dinner indoors.
On the plus side, this allowed us to up our game on the food.
First up was an amuse-bouche of chilled beetroot and almond soup. Then came the starter – scallops, truffles and wild mushrooms in a saffron pasta stack with a butternut squash velouté.
For the main, we served monkfish tails stuffed with thyme, rosemary and pine nuts, and sides of lemon parmentier potatoes and sea vegetables.
We presented the desserts in cloche jars we bought in Maisons du Monde last summer. There were gasps of admiration as we brought them to the table – and a rush for phones to take photos to post on Facebook.
“There were gasps of admiration as we brought them to the table – and a rush for phones to take photos for Facebook”
We had come up with the idea for the desserts when we still imagined we would be spending the evening en plein air, as though we were in the south of France. When we pictured Provence in our minds, we saw fields of lavender.
Hence the dessert.
It’s a pity that Mother Nature had altogether different plans for the evening – even more so now that we are back at work and the temperature gauge has soared!
Oh well, only two to go until we head to France for our holiday.