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Lemon Tarragon Panna Cotta

Recipe by Chef Tre Wilcox

I use the stems of the tarragon in cooking this recipe. When the half and half is being heated with the lemon zest I add the tarragon stems, to add more flavor. Panna cotta is a great dessert to make the day before a big dinner. You can get it out of the way and it still tastes great the next day.

Panna Cotta Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups half and half
  • ¾ cup 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves – chopped fine, reserve stems
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup low fat sour cream

Strawberry Sauce

  • 3 cups strawberries - stems removed, quartered
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup champagne


  • ¼ cup blueberries - washed and dried
  • ¼ cup raspberries - washed and dried
  • 6 pieces tarragon sprigs


1) Lightly spray eight (3/4-cup) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. 2) Combine the half and half and milk in a heavy, medium sized saucepan, set aside. 3) Add the vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. 4) Remove the saucepan from the heat; add the lemon zest and one tablespoon of the tarragon. 5) Cover and let milk mixture steep for 30 minutes. 6) Strain mixture through a fine sieve and discard solids. Return the mixture to the saucepan. 7) Combine the lemon juice and gelatin in a small bowl and let stand until the gelatin softens, about 10 minutes. 8) Add the gelatin mixture and the sugar to the cream mixture in the saucepan. 9) Heat over low heat, stirring, until the gelatin and sugar are dissolved, about 2 minutes. 10) Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream and the rest of the tarragon. 11) Carefully divide the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins. Allow to cool to room temperature; then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly set, at least 8 hours or overnight.

Stawberry Sauce 

Place strawberries in a medium bowl. Sprinkle strawberries with sugar and salt; toss well. Place strawberry mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Place mixture in plastic bowl and chill for two hours. Strain sauce through fine mesh strainer. Stir in the champagne right before you serve it. Place sauce into squirt bottle.


 When you are ready to serve the panna cotta, run a small butter knife around the edge of each ramekin. Place one panna cotta in the center of plate. Squirt strawberry sauce around panna cotta. Place blueberries on top of panna cotta. Garnish each plate with raspberries and one tarragon sprig.


6 Servings

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 141
Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 5mg
Sodium: 80mg
Carbohydrate: 24g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Protein: 5g 


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