Consider this cooling panna cotta after a spicy Thai curry. Employ Thai (purple) basil for the zippiest result, though regular basil works just as well. Agar is a tasteless seaweed derivative that sets liquids much like gelatin, but it’s suitable for plant-based diets. You can find agar flakes at many health food stores.
Tip: Thyme + lemon
A thyme and lemon version of this versatile panna cotta, garnished with fresh raspberries, would be equally stunning.
1 – 14 oz can coconut milk (either full-fat or light will work)
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp agar flakes
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh Thai (purple) basil or regular basil leaves, plus more to garnish
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp coconut oil
1/8 tsp salt
Whipped coconut cream, for dollops
Lime slices, for garnish
Shaved coconut, toasted, for garnish
In medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk coconut milk, sugar, agar and lime zest until bubbles appear on surface. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk for 4 to 5 minutes, until agar is dissolved. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Add basil, lime juice, coconut oil, salt and coconut milk mixture to blender, and blend until combined. Pour into 4 small mugs or small ramekins and chill for at least 5 hours, or until set. Loosen edges and invert panna cotta onto plate, or keep in mug or ramekin.
Garnish with additional basil, dollops of coconut cream and lime slices. Sprinkle with a little toasted and shaved coconut and serve chilled.