Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

30 August 2010

Rosemary Socca & Provencal Vegetable Ragu

I'm new to Socca. In fact last night was the first time I'd ever tried it. I read about it recently on the ever fabulous, Patricia Wells's blog . After that I seem to be hearing about it all over the place so I thought it was time to give it a whirl. Socca is essentially a savory crepe made with chickpea flour. It's nutty and salty and crispy from frying in olive oil. It's commonly served in and around Nice, so I thought a provencal stew would be a fitting partner to round out the meal.

I spiced up my Socca with some fresh chopped rosemary and lots of cracked black pepper. I made the ragu with fresh tomatoes, capers, white beans, and olives. It had all the flavors of Provence and was perfect for mopping up with torn bits of the yummy Socca.

I hope you'll give this a try. If so, I have a feeling Socca is soon to become one of your favorites too!

For the Provencal Vegetable Ragu:
Yields 4 main course servings

6 medium tomatoes (like Early Girls or Roma), cut into 1.5" pieces
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 anchovy filets
1, 15 oz can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1.5" pieces
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1.5" pieces
6 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup pitted nicoise olives, halved
2 TB capers, drained and rinsed
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp red chile flakes
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) In a 3 qt stockpot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, and anchovy and saute until the anchovy melts and the vegetables are translucent. Sir in the Herbes de Provence, chili flakes, salt & pepper. Stir in the fresh tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, sundried tomatoes, and Cannellini beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and reduces by about 1/2. Depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes, this will take about 15-25 minutes. You're looking for the vegetables to be thick and stewy.

2) When the Ragu has reduced to your desired consistency, add the olives and capers and stir to combine. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Cover and set aside while you cook the Socca.

For the Rosemary Socca:
Yields 2, 10" crepes

1 cup Garbanzo Flour (aka Chickpea Flour)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 TB fresh Rosemary, finely minced
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for frying

1) In a small bowl, whisk together the Garbanzo flour, rosemary, black pepper & salt. Add the water and whisk until smooth. This should look like a think pancake batter.

2) Heat 2TB of the oil in a nonstick skillet. When hot, add 1/2 of the Socca batter. Swirl around, like you would a crepe, to form a thin pancake. Cook over medium high heat until you can just see the edges start to brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the crepe over and continue cooking the other side until golden brown and crispy, an additional 2-3 minutes. Keep warm in a low oven while you repeat with the remaining oil & Socca batter.

* I served my Ragu with sliced avocado and a dollop of creme fraiche.

27 August 2010

Pasta Salad with Arugula, Tuna, Tomatoes & Olives

A delicious dinner and perfect for a busy weeknight. I make a lot of these main course salads during the week. It's a lighter way to serve pasta and it stretches the pasta so it makes dinner for two nights, which means less cooking during a hectic week. Also, it's a great way to use up those abundant garden tomatoes.

A quick word about tuna.... I use canned tuna here. If you also opt for the canned version, do look for line caught American Tuna. That ensures that dolphins and other sea mammals were not harmed in the tuna nets. Also, the fact that the fish is line caught means it's smaller, therefore containing less mercury. You could, of course, quickly sear a couple of fresh Albacore Tuna filets here instead and just break them into bite size pieces.


Pasta Salad with Arugula, Tuna, Tomatoes, & Olives:
Yields 4 generous servings:

5 cups baby Arugula
12 oz medium spiral shaped g-free pasta (Fusilli, Cavatappi, Gemelli)
2, 3.5 oz cans Albacore Tuna, packed in water (look for line caught, American Tuna)
1/2 cup nicoise olives, pitted and halved
6 medium slicing tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Ricotta Salata, grated (or Pecorino or Parmesan)
juice of 1 lemon
1 TB white wine vinegar
1 TB dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about 1TB salt and return to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes depending on the size and shape.

2) Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt & pepper. Add the olive oil in a steady stream, whisking the whole time, until emulsified. Set aside.

3) Place the baby arugula in your serving bowl. Add the hot pasta on top of the arugula and toss together to wilt the greens slightly. Drizzle with about 1/2 of the dressing and set aside to cool. When ready to serve, toss in the olives, basil, tuna, and tomatoes. Pour over the remaining dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

25 August 2010

Tomato Cobbler with Gruyere Crust

This wonderful recipe, adapted from Martha, finally put a good dent in my cherry tomato crop. It uses 2#, the equivalent of about 3 baskets. It's so light and fresh, excellent served warm (for the best crust), but also surprisingly good served chilled as we did last night. It was just too hot to bear turning on the oven, even for a moment to reheat.

I served this cobbler with a shaved raw vegetable salad with a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil. Paired with a chilled glass of white wine or rose and you have a perfect Sunday lunch or a light summer dinner.


Tomato Cobbler with Gruyere Crust:
Yields 1, 10" pie

1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup chilled, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1/4 cup ice water
2 # cherry tomatoes (about 3 baskets)
1 TB olive oil
2 medium leeks
1 clove garlic, crushed and left whole
1/2 cup chopped basil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg

1) To make the crust- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flours, 1/2 tsp sugar, xanthan gum, & 1 tsp salt. Add the butter, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, drizzle in the ice water, 1 TB at a time, until the dough just comes together. Pat the dough into a flat disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

2) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a saute pan to medium high and add the olive oil. Saute the leeks and garlic, plus the remaining 1 tsp thyme until the vegetables are translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. Fish out the whole garlic clove and discard. Stir in the basil.

3) In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, remaining 1 tsp sugar, salt & pepper to taste, and remaining 2 TB flour. Toss gently to coat all of the tomatoes with the flour and sugar. Add the cooled onion mixture. Transfer mixture to a 10" diameter pie dish.

4) Roll out the chilled crust into a circle that is 1" larger in diameter than your pie dish. Place the crust over the top of the tomatoes, tucking the sides in and under to seal. Brush the top of the crust lightly with egg wash (1 egg whisked together with 1 tsp water). Sprinkle crust with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Place pie dish on a foil lined baking sheet, to catch any drips. Bake for 45- 50 minutes until the crust is golden and juices are bubbling. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. This cobbler is best served slightly warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

23 August 2010

Tomato Salad, 3 ways

If your garden is anything like mine, it's most likely overflowing with tomatoes right now. They were late to ripen this year here, since we've had such an unseasonably cool summer, but finally they've arrived, and in full force! They all seem to ripen at once so I've been eating tomatoes with practically ever meal lately. No complaints here though. They're one of my favorite summer treats and I can think of a million ways to use them.

I thought I'd share 3 of my favorite tomato salad recipes here today. Look for many more tomato ideas in the coming weeks as well.


Classic Caprese Salad:
Yields 4 servings

3 large slicing tomatoes (beefsteak, marble stripe, purple cherokee....)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (sweet 100's, sungold, yellow pear....)
fresh mozzarella, about 2 'ovolene' balls
12 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 TB basil puree (recipe below)
extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) Arrange the sliced tomatoes on a serving platter and sprinkle with the whole (or halved) cherry tomatoes. Tear the mozarella into bite size pieces and arrange it around the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the sliced basil. Drizzle the basil puree over the tomatoes as well as the olive oil & salt & pepper, to taste.

Basil Puree:
yields about 6 oz

2 bunches basil leaves (@ 2 1/2 cups)
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) In the jar of a blender, add the basil and lemon juice, and process until coarsely chopped. Scrape down the sides and add the salt & pepper. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until emulsified. Scrape down the sides and process again for a few seconds until the puree is relatively smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

Tomato & Watermelon Salad:
Yields 4 servings:

3 cups seedless red watermelon, diced into 1 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (any color or variety)
2 large slicing tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges each
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 ripe but firm avocado, diced into 1" pieces
1 small scallion, finely diced
2 TB basil puree (see recipe above)
juice of 1/2 lime
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, tomatoes, sliced fennel, avocado, scallion, and lime juice. Drizzle in 1 TB olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt & pepper. Toss gently to combine.

2) Place salad in a serving bowl or on a platter and drizzle with the basil puree, the remaining 1 TB olive oil, and additional salt & pepper to taste. Serve chilled.
Tomato Salad with Fresh Corn, Stone Fruit, Lime & Jalapeno served in Avocado 'Bowls':
Yields 4 servings

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small slicing tomatoes (like early girl or green zebra), diced into 1" pieces
2 small nectarines, diced into 1" pieces (like july red or fire sweet)
2 medium plums, diced into 1" pieces (like black beauty or elephant heart)
2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from cob
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
2 TB cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 medium Haas avocados, ripe but firm
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, stone fruits, corn, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and 1 TB olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss gently to combine.

2) Slice the avocados in half and remove the pit. Using a spoon, carefully remove the avocados from their skins, taking care not to damage the outer flesh. Scoop out a bit more of the inner flesh, around the pit area, to create a larger cavity. Dice the avocado flesh you just removed into 1" pieces and add it to the mixture.

3) Spoon the tomato salad into the hollowed out avocados. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.

17 August 2010

Rigatoni with Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, & Mint

This recipe is one of my stand-bys for dinner. It's best made in the late summer when the produce is at its peak but the evenings have taken on that distinctive hint of a fall chill. This dish is hearty and warming, a bit spicy, and very delicious. It's one of those meals I come back to time and again because it's so easy and satisfying.

I hope you'll give this one a try and that it may also become one of your weeknight staples.


Rigatoni with Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, & Mint:
Yields 4 servings

12 oz g-free Rigatoni (or other tubular shaped pasta)
1 large globe eggplant (about 1.25#), diced into 1.5" pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes (any color or a mix of colors)
1 medium yellow onion (or 2 small spring onions), diced into 1.5" pieces
1 clove garlic, smashed but left whole
1 tsp red chile flakes (or to taste)
4 TB olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 TB fresh mint, finely sliced
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Add the diced eggplant and onion, whole cherry tomatoes, and garlic clove. Sprinkle with the red chile flakes, salt & pepper, and drizzle with 2 TB olive oil. Toss together gently to coat all the vegetables and spread out into a single layer on the baking sheet. Cook without stirring for 35 minutes until tender and nicely caramelized.

2) When the vegetables are roasted and cool enough to handle, puree them, along with the toasted pine nuts, and remaining 2 TB olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is combined but still chunky. Add the mint, reserving 1 tsp for garnish, and pulse again briefly. Spoon the puree into your serving bowl.

3) Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 10 minutes depending on the size of your pasta. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain the rest. Place hot pasta on top of the puree in your serving bowl. Toss to coat the noodles well with the pureed sauce. Add a bit of pasta water, 1 TB at a time, to loosen the sauce if needed so it evenly coats all the Rigatoni. Sprinkle with the reserved mint and serve hot.

15 August 2010

Peach Compote with Vanilla & Lavender

Here in Northern California, August is wonderfully abundant in every way. The sunshine is plentiful, the weather is leisurely, and fresh produce is at its peak. Tomatoes, berries, peppers, basil, stone fruit...are all exploding from farms and gardens nearby.

How convenient for me that my newest obsession is canning! I adore the idea of preserving the harvest and enjoying the peak of the season all year long. There's something very comforting and satisfying about opening up the pantry and seeing jars of colorful sauces, jams & pickles. So far this year I've tried my hand at dill pickles, raspberry jam, apricot & vanilla bean conserve, blackberry jam, basil puree, and now peach compote. Most are pictured in the photo above. I know when I pull these out in the middle of February that I will be dreaming of summer once again and anxiously awaiting its abundant return.

I stumbled upon this recipe completely by accident. My intention was to create a peach conserve, which by my definition is essentially a jam without added pectin, just cooked long and slow to reduce and concentrate the fruit. I used my very favorite of all peaches, the elusive and fleeting, 'O'Henry'. They have the most 'peachy' of flavors, slightly acidic, not too sweet, firm yet juicy with an almost crisp skin. They're positively divine and I look forward to them every summer when they appear at the market for one or two short weeks. Because of their firm texture they didn't quite cook down as I had imagined so I ended up with a wonderful accident, a peach compote with chunky pieces of flavorful peaches in a vanilla and lavender syrup. I imagine serving this over ice cream (of course!), spooning onto a warm popover or a fresh buttermilk biscuit or serving with a sharp aged pecorino, my fresh thyme crackers, and a glass of Vin Gris.

If you can't find the O'Henry variety, use a yellow peach with firm flesh that's slightly underripe. Make sure whichever variety you choose has good acidity or this can become cloyingly sweet in a hurry.


Peach Compote with Vanilla & Lavender:
Yields 6, 1/2 pint jars

3# yellow peaches, firm flesh
1.75# sugar
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
4 vanilla beans, split and seeds removed
1 TB lavender blossoms

1) Cut the peaches into 1.5" pieces and remove pits. Add the fruit, along with the remaining ingredients, including the vanilla bean pods, to a heavy 5qt stockpot. Heat, stirring occasionally, over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and mixture reaches a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring every so often for about 30-45 minutes, or until the fruit is tender but still holds its shape and the syrup is reduced by half.

2) Remove the vanilla bean pods. Ladle the hot fruit mixture into sterilized jars. Return jars to canner and process for 12 minutes. Let jars cool completely at room temperature. Store in a cool, dark place up to 1 year.

*Alternately, you can skip the canning process and prepare the compote the same way. Just ladle the slightly cooled mixture into air tight storage containers and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 months.

09 August 2010

Radish & Fromage Blanc Tartelettes with Fennel Seed Pastry

It's no secret that I love radishes! I especially love french breakfast radishes with butter & salt, of course. A little plate of that with a chilled glass of 'Lillet' and I'm in food heaven!

Considering my fondness for this veg, I was delighted to come across Chocolate & Zucchini's mention of this recipe last week, and of course I went right out and tried it. I can hardly imagine anything better!

In the same posting Clotilde also listed instructions for making a yogurt pastry which was a perfect crust for this 'tarte fine'. This is definitely my new favorite crust which I will be using for many sweet and savory tarts and quiches in the coming months. It comes together so nicely and uses half the amount of butter as traditional pastry while still producing a flaky and flavorful result. Give it a try... in fact make a double batch like I did and freeze one for the next time inspiration strikes!


Radish & Fromage Blanc Tartelettes with Fennel Seed Pastry:
Yields 10 4" diameter tartes

For the pastry: (adapted from Clotilde Dusoulier)
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup plain greek-style yogurt (low-fat is fine)
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fennel seeds

1) Combine the flours, salt & fennel seeds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add in the diced butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add in the yogurt, all at once, and process until the mixture forms a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead briefly, just to bring together. Flatten into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until well chilled.

2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Lightly flour a board and roll out the chilled pastry to 1/8" thick. Using a 6" round cutter (or a glass or a ramekin), punch out the circles of pastry. Fold the edges in towards the center in a free-form way (think crostata), leaving a 4" cavity in the center.

3) Using a fork, dock the pastry shells all over, to prevent from puffing up too much in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Cool completely before filling. The pre-baked shells can also be frozen at this stage, up to 1 month.

For the topping:
2 bunches french breakfast radishes (about 20, 2" long radishes)
1 cup fromage blanc (or creme fraiche)
1 TB fresh thyme, finely chopped
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
fleur de sel, for garnish

1) Mix together the fromage blanc, salt, pepper, & thyme in a small bowl.

2) Spread about 2 TB of the seasoned fromage blanc onto each cooled pastry shell. Arrange the sliced radishes on top. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and serve.

06 August 2010

Fresh Thyme Crackers

Homemade crackers... honestly, they're so easy and you'll impress all of your friends. Who ever thinks to make homemade crackers anyways? I do! and hopefully now you will too.

These are a great way to dress up any cheese plate. They're positively delicious and addictive... consider yourself warned. The recipe makes a zillion so you'll have plenty to share at your next gathering. Serve with your favorite appertif, like Lillet blanc with fresh lime or Prosecco with Limoncello, and you have a perfect start to a lovely evening.

Gourmet crackers are always one of those things that amaze me people will actually pay $7-8 for a small package. It's sort of like creme fraiche or bottled simple syrup... all so easy and inexpensive to make at home from a few simple ingredients. Give these a try and I think you'll agree it's worth a little effort for a delicious result.


Crackers with Fresh Thyme
Yields about 8 dozen 2"x 2" crackers
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 TB finely chopped fresh thyme (I used lemon thyme), plus more thyme leaves for garnish
4 TB cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 tsp salt, plus coarse salt for garnish
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour and cornmeal, sugar, salt, pepper, lemon zest and thyme. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, add the cream. Process until a dough forms.

2) Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead briefly until the dough just comes together. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and pat the dough out into 1/2" thick disks. Wrap each disk individually and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. You can also freeze a portion of the dough at this stage, well wrapped, up to 2 months.

3) On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8" thick. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and score, using a pizza wheel, into roughly 2" diamond shapes. Brush with the egg white and sprinkle with coarse salt and reserved thyme leaves. Repeat with remaining dough.

4) Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crackers are golden brown and slightly puffed. Let cool before serving.

02 August 2010


This delicious recipe is courtesy of my friend, Katie. Katie's one of those inspiring people that 'does it all' with ease and grace, including making these amazing treats which are officially my latest obsession. After purchasing my new popover pan today and testing the recipe, I can affirm that they are truly divine. If you make homemade preserves, these are a perfect vehicle for those sweet fruit conserves. Give these a try on your next lazy weekend morning (or dinner, or dessert, or snack). I promise that they'll be something you come back to again and again.

Katie writes, "My mom was a great cook but not a baker. The popover is one of the only things I remember her baking for us and they were always such a welcomed treat. For years I wanted to buy myself a popover pan and just never did until I decided to make them for my family on Christmas morning. They were such a hit with the whole family that I've been making them religiously ever since and they're one of my most requested dishes. I've actually succeeded in creating a popover obsession around my house and a new family memory all on my own."

It's important to note that these bake for 35-40 minutes at two different temperatures. Don't neglect this part, it's a very important step. Starting with the oven higher allows the impressive height and the beautiful brown crust to form. Turning them down halfway through baking allows for that delicious custardy middle which is so important in the final product.


Yields 6 large portions

*This recipe requires a standard 6 portion popover pan

1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups milk
2 TB melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees and set rack in middle. Preheat popover pan in the oven about 2 minutes until the butter is bubbly.

2) Place 1/2 tsp melted butter into each popover cup. Whisk together the flours, salt, eggs, milk, and remaining melted butter until mixture resembles pancake batter. The batter is best when used at room temperature.

3) Fill each cup 3/4 full with batter and bake 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Reduce oven temp to 325 and continue baking for 15-20 minutes more.
4) Serve warm, right from the oven, with butter and jam.

01 August 2010

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta simply means 'cooked cream'. It's texture is silken and light and it's flavor is fresh and tangy. I love making panna cotta with buttermilk and yogurt since it adds to the 'tang' quality of the finished dessert, which I really enjoy. If you can find it, use sheep or goat's milk yogurt to give your dessert that extra depth of flavor.

One of the best things about panna cotta is that it's endlessly versatile. I have some gorgeous blackberries on hand and I thought I'd macerate them with a little honey and aged balsamic vinegar and spoon that compote over top. Macerated fresh fruits or berries with honey & liqueur or any fruit conserve would be divine here. Use your imagination about toppings based on what looks best in season.

**Note- Since this is primarily a vegetarian blog, I do feel the need to mention that this dessert contains gelatin. Without going into what exactly gelatin is made of (unpleasant), I will say that it's anything but vegetarian. If you want to keep things truly veg-friendly here, you can easily substitute 1/3 cup silken tofu in place of the hydrated gelatin in the recipe. After steps 2-3 below, add the tofu along with the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and process until completely smooth. Continue with steps 4-5 as indicated.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta:
Yields 4, 4 oz ramekins

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
7 oz plain greek style yogurt (low-fat/ non-fat is fine)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
2 TB cold water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

1) Add the 2TB water to a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over top and let stand until bloomed, about 5 minutes.

2) In a bowl (preferbaly with a spout), whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, 1/4 cup cream, salt & vanilla.

3) In a small saucepan heat the remaining 1/2 cup cream with the sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved and cream is very hot, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin, using a silicone spatula to make sure you scrape all the gelatin into the pan. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolve, which might take up to 1 minute. Pour the cream/sugar/gelatin into the yogurt mixture and divide between the ramekins. Work quickly here because once the gelatin mixture hits the cold yogurt, it will start to set up.

4) Chill (uncovered) at least 4 hours or overnight. Once the panna cotta is fully chilled, you can cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you cover before the custard is fully chilled, you'll increase the likelihood of condensation forming on top.

5) To unmold, run a sharp, warm knife around the outside of the ramekin. Invert onto a serving plate. If it doesn't release right away, give it a firm tap on the bottom. It should slip right out onto the plate. If it still doesn't pop out, dip the bottom of the ramekin in a small bowl of hot water for a couple of seconds and then try inverting it again.