Asparagus Panna Cotta
with Pancetta and Smoked Trout
  • Description:

    Panna Cotta is usually prepared as a dessert, but this recipe foregrounds the savoury, delicate flavours of asparagus and lightly smoked trout which pairs wonderfully with Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc. Recipe provided courtesy of Cathedral Cellar wines. (Serves 4)

  • Ingredients:

    For the panna cotta, you’ll need:
    50g fresh asparagus; blanched
    1 handful of English spinach; washed and dried
    Half an onion; chopped
    3 garlic cloves; chopped


    2 tbsp. olive oil
    1 tsp. chicken stock powder
    100ml fresh cream
    200ml crème fraîche
    200ml double cream yoghurt
    10g (1 sachet) gelatine powder; sponged in 50ml water
    Salt and pepper to taste


    For the smoked ocean trout, you’ll need:
    1 whole fresh ocean trout; cleaned
    1 pack oak barrel shavings
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Zest and juice of 2 lemons

  • Method:

    For the panna cotta:

        •    Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil on low heat until well cooked.
        •    Add the chicken stock and the cream, and bring to a boil.
        •    Place the whole mix with the spinach and asparagus in a jug blender and blend until smooth.
        •    Pour through a sieve into a bowl and add the crème fraîche and double cream yoghurt. Mix well and season to taste.
        •    Melt the sponged gelatine in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds and add to the asparagus mix.
        •    Mix well so that there are no lumps.
        •    Pour the mix into dariole moulds or any other preferred mould and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

    For the smoked ocean trout:

        •    Make a small fire in your braai (we use a Weber) with charcoal and leave it until it is nice and warm.
        •    Place a piece of heavy-duty foil on the grid. Place the whole fish on the foil and cover with a lid or more foil.
        •    Leave on the braai for approx. 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked but not dry.
        •    Take the fish off the grid and let it cool until you can remove the skin.
        •    Flake the fish and remove any small bones. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
        •    Add the lemon zest and juice for extra flavour.

    To serve:

        •    Unmould the panna cotta with some warm water on a platter or on individual plates.
        •    Serve with pan-fried pancetta, blanched asparagus and the smoked ocean trout.

    Wine recommendation:
    Pairs perfectly with Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc.