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Lavender Panna Cotta with Preserved Lemon

Lavender Panna Cotta with Preserved Lemon
Fresh berries beautify and preserved lemon perks up this sweet and creamy dish with an unexpected hit of salt and sour.


Panna cotta

2 1/2 gelatin sheets
2 Tbsp lavender (dried or fresh)
1/4 tsp rose water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream (or coconut cream for dairy-free option)
1/2 cup white sugar

Preserved lemons

1 cup kosher salt
8 fresh lemons (Meyer lemons are preferred, but not necessary)


Fruit of choice
Preserved lemons


Panna cotta

1. Soak gelatin sheets in cold water until soft.

2. Heat cream, lavender, and sugar over medium high heat, it should come to a light simmer in 5-7 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and strain away the lavender flowers using a sieve.

4. Add vanilla and rosewater to the liquid.

5. Squeeze the water from the gelatin sheets and stir them into the hot cream mixture until fully dissolved.

6. Before it cools, divide the mixture into serving vessels of your choice.

7. Place in fridge to cool and set. It will have a “wobble” to it.

Preserved lemons

1. Using a large mason jar, sterilize it using the boiling method or in a dishwasher.

2. One by one, prepare lemons in the following way:

a. Cut off any protruding stems.

b. Cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon.

c. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwise, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way through. Keep the lemon attached at the base.

d. Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon is quartered, but attached at the base.

e. Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle and rub kosher salt all over the insides and outsides of the lemons.

3. Pack the lemons in the sterilized jar, squishing them down so that the juice is extracted, and the lemon juice rises to the top of jar.

4. Fill up jar with lemons, make sure the top is covered with lemon juice. If needed, add more freshly squeezed lemon juice. Top with a couple more tablespoons of kosher salt.

5. Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple of days. Turn the jar upside down occasionally.

6. After a couple of days, put it inside the fridge and let sit, again turning upside down occasionally for at least 3 weeks or until the lemon rind softens.

7. Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

8. To use; remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thoroughly in water to remove salt. Discard seeds before using. Discard the pulp before using if desired. Slice rind.


1. Top with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or any toppings you choose.  Strawberry coulis is pictured.

2. Sprinkle a small amount of preserved lemons.

Yield 4 small servings

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