In Malibu at the Sunday's farmers market there is a vendor who sells three different flavors of fresh sheep's milk cheese with jalapeño, sundried tomato, and olive. All 3 are absolutely amazing. This cheese is so creamy and smooth, yet subtle in flavor. I used this wonderful ingredient to make half of the my flavor profile for my panna cotta, the other half was this seasons best asparagus. This was an appetizer I served at a dinner party a few weeks back. Everyone absolutely loved it. One of the guests ended up staying the night and he loved this dish so much he asked for it again the next day for lunch. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!
Asparagus pana cotta
1 3/4 heavy cream
4 oz of fresh sheeps milk cheese (2 oz olive, 2 oz jalapeño)
2 tsp gelatin
2 tbsp water
Salt to taste
2 cups asparagus juice
8 leaves of basil
2 1/8 tsp gelatin
Salt to taste
2 cups kalamata olives
3 tbsp capers
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp of chives, oregano, parsley chopped
1/2 cup-1 cup olive oil
1 cup of Blanched asparagus tips
2 radishes sliced and julienne
1 lemon zested and 2 tbsp of olive oil
Mache and basil leaves and brassicas flowers
2 tbsp of white balsamic
For the panna cotta,
Place cream and sheep's milk cheese into a pot. Bring to a simmer then turn off the heat. Allow the cream to cool slightly. Then in another bowl mix water and gelatin and allow it to bloom for 3 minutes. Then take some of the warm cream and pour it over the bowl of gelatin. Once melted you can add all of the gelatin mixture back into the cream mixture and stir well. Then strain the pana cotta onto a sheet pan and place into the refrigerator until set ( at least 2 hours).
Cut off the very tip ends of the asparagus for the salad. Juice the rest of the stalk in a vegetable juicer. You need 2 cups of asparagus juice. Mix half of the asparagus juice with the gelatin. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes. Heat the remaining asparagus juice to a boil, and pour it over the gelatin mixture. Stir well. Puree in a vitamix with basil leaves, season with salt, taste and adjust the seasoning. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then pour on top of the sheep's milk panna cotta. If it is too hot it will melt the cheese panna cotta
for the Olives
For the olive tapenade place olives, garlic, anchovies, capers, and herbs into a food processor. Puree adding the oil during the process. No need to season because of the saltiness of all the ingredients.
Place blanched asparagus in a bowl mixed with radish, white balsamic, lemon zest, olive oil, mache. Season with salt and pepper. Take a ring a small ring mold and cut out a mold of the asparagus panna cotta and place it on the plate. Place the asparagus salad next to it. Garnish with basil leaves and flowers. Place a quenelle of olive tapenade on top of the panna cotta. Serve and enjoy!