Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Rhubarb Consommé

Nathan Foot

Northern Spy Food Co., NYC

This simple but elegant spring dessert contrasts the tartness of rhubarb against a creamy panna cotta.


  • Buttermilk Panna Cotta:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean (reserved from the rhubarb soup ingredients)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Rhubarb Consommé:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split and scraped, seeds reserved
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces


To prepare the buttermilk panna cotta, sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.

With a wet paper towel, dampen a 9 by 9-inch pan and line with plastic wrap. Spray the plastic wrap with nonstick spray and set aside.

Combine the buttermilk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, and lemon zest in a heavy pot. Stir and bring just to a boil. Turn off the heat and whisk in the gelatin-water mixture, making sure it dissolves completely. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and let cool slightly. Gently pour the mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, until it has set completely.

To prepare the rhubarb consommé, combine the water, wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla bean pod in a sturdy pot and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve completely. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped rhubarb. Simmer until the rhubarb is tender and falling apart, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Working in small batches, ladle the rhubarb mixture into a blender or food processor and blend on high speed until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve. Repeat until you have blended all of the contents of the pot. Measure the strained liquid and add water until the amount reaches 6 cups. Return the liquid to a clean blender or food processor and blend well. Chill for at least 4 hours.

To serve, carefully pull the panna cotta out of the pan by lifting up the plastic wrap with your fingers. Cut out individual servings with a 4-inch round cutter. Use an offset spatula to gently lift each serving of panna cotta off the plastic wrap and place in a shallow bowl. Carefully ladle or pour the rhubarb consommé around the panna cotta.


4 to 6 servings