There's nothing better than real home prepared food. Even the simplest dish, when prepared with good quality fresh local and seasonal ingredients, can taste like a dream. That being said, all food taste best when enjoyed in the company of friends and family. I love meeting my friends and family, and sharing food with them. Cooking together, laughing together. Food connects people. Food makes people happy.
Today is Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day and some of my blogger friends suggested to contribute to this amazing event by organising a potluck dinner and bringing delicious home made food. Unfortunately, it's not always possible to meet in one place as we all live in different countries or even on different continents. Luckily, thanks to modern technology, we can still meet virtually. So, here we go. Emiko came up with an idea to organise a virtual potluck dinner and "meet" through our blogs. This way, through our blogs, we all want to show support and stand up for real food.
We have all decided to cook some delicious meals using local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. My choice was easy. I love growing my own vegetable and fruit, however the only thing that currently grows in my tiny London garden, is rhubarb. Rhubarb is the easiest plant to grow in the UK. It loves water, so much! The constant rain makes my rhubarb very happy (although, I can't say the same about myself). I'm well known among my friends for making rhubarb crumble. I wanted to surprise and try something different this time. Panna cotta is P.'s another favourite dessert. It's light, creamy and can be eaten with any seasonal fruit. A perfect easy dessert for a dinner party or Sunday lunch.
I added some crunchy caramelised almonds for an extra texture. Thick greek yogurt, silky cream, tangy rhubarb and crunchy sweet almonds, they come together in perfect harmony of flavours and textures.
Here's the menu for our virtual potluck. Meet my real friends who stood up for read food and prepared some lovely recipes:
International Nibble and Dips prepared by Karin from Yum and more, in Frankfurt Germany, originally from USA
Green Panzanella by Juls from Juls' Kitchen, in Italy
Purple Kale, Sorrel and Lancashire "Caesar" Salad by Valeria, Life Love Food, living in London, originally from Venice Italy
Mussels with real traditional Belgian fries by Regula from Foodwise, in Antwerp Belgium
Crespelle Verdi di Pesce by Emiko from Emiko Davies, in Melbourne Australia
Vanilla Honey Rhubarb Galette with fresh Whipped Cream by Zita from Zizi's Adventures, in Budapest Hungary
Rhubarb and Almond Panna Cotta by Sarka from Cook Your Dream, in London, originally from Prague Czech Republic
Rhubarb and almond panna cotta
300ml double cream
1/4 cup honey
7 gelatine leaves
500g greek yogurt
50g whole almonds, halved lengthwise
1tsp demerara sugar
1tsp hot water
320g rhubarb, thickly sliced
1/2 tsp grated ginger
juice of 1 lemon
90g demerara sugar
In a heavy bottom pan, combine the cream, milk and honey, and bring to a simmer over low heat. In the meantime, soak the gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes. Remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze out any excess liquid. Remove the pan from the heat, add the gelatine leaves and stir until dissolved completely. Add the yogurt and whisk until fully combined. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any lumps. Divide the mixture among 6-7 cups or small bowls. Let stand at room temperature until cooled completely and then refrigerate for 4-5 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 180℃. Combine the almonds, honey, sugar and water in a small bowl. Transfer into a baking tray and roast for 8-12 minutes, stirring once or twice, until caramelised and golden. Let them cool completely and break apart.
Preheat oven to 200℃. In a bowl, combine the rhubarb, sugar, ginger, water and lemon juice. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Remove the rhubarb and set aside. Pour the rhubarb liquid into a heavy bottom pan and simmer until you reach a syrup consistency. Let cool slightly before spooning over panna cottas.
Just before serving immerse the cups in hot water for a few second to turn the panna cotta out on a serving plate. To finish the panna cotta, spoon over some rhubarb, pour over rhubarb syrup and sprinkle with caramelised almonds.