Camille Styles

Recipe Files

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries, Basil, & Almonds

June 28th, 2017

in partnership with Blue Diamond Almonds // photos by kristen kilpatrick

One of the best nights of my life started and ended with this panna cotta.

It was time for our cooking class at the villa we rented in Tuscany last month, and after pouring the Chianti and turning up the music, Giuseppina showed our group how to stir together just a handful of ingredients into one of the region’s signature desserts. As is the case with so many of the best things in life, this one’s all about time: it sat patiently in the fridge while we made pasta by hand, slathered pork loin with garlic and rosemary, learned how to fry sage leaves, then sat down to devour the entire feast. We almost forgot about our humble little custards chilling away in the kitchen, but boy am I glad that we didn’t. Keep reading to find out how I put a new spin on these once I got back home: since I prefer all my desserts with a little crunch, we teamed up with our friends at Blue Diamond Almonds to crown these panna cottas with the perfect finishing touch.


Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries, Basil, & Almonds

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries, Basil & Almonds

Serves 4


  • 2 1/2 tsp. (1 package) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Sea Salt Almonds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons basil, thinly sliced


  1. Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 of the milk in a bowl. Let stand for 2 minutes to soften the gelatin.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the rest of the milk, cream and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, then using your knife, scrape the vanilla seeds into the cream. Heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat and let cool briefly.
  3. Slowly add the warm milk to the gelatin mixture, whisking constantly until completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into four jars or ramekins, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Meanwhile, stir together the strawberries, zest and juice, and remaining tablespoon of sugar, and let macerate for at least an hour and up to 4 hours.
  5. When ready to serve, top the panna cotta with the macerating strawberries, chopped almonds, and basil. Buon appetito!

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Show Comments +

  1. I love the idea of a male-ahead dessert for a dinner party, I’m always running around in the middle of dinner trying to pull something together otherwise. Plus with farmers markets in full swing, it’s so much easier to get these ingredients extra fresh!

  2. Laura says:

    Can’t wait to try this! Looks so fresh. Could you please share where the dessert jars are from? Thank you!

  3. Kelly says:

    First of all it looks amazing! Including almonds sounds great! Yummy!

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