When I planted a few chamomiles last year, they didn't do a whole lot. They were planted in my herb spiral in the front yard and they sort of just stayed the size of seedlings and then fizzled out. I was puzzled but with the season quickly unfolding, I sort of forgot about them. That was when HBG was just an outline on a page.
Fast forward to about six weeks ago and what do I see? It's baaaaaack. The chamomile grew, and grew, and GREW. It grew so tall it fell over and kept growing. It's been in the herby CSA for a few weeks and I've dried some to experiment with making sugar. I love harvesting over there because you get to smell the chamomile in the air. It's sweet and a little lemony, but really light. So, it's perfect in other words. I'm so glad it decided to make a big comeback this year.
I have a treat for you! I asked one of our Herby Chef CSA partners, Hannah from dal-kohm, to send me a recipe with chamomile as the star. Chamomile is mild so usually it plays a supporting role but Hannah in all of her wisdom has come up with a way to spotlight the flower. Behold! Chamomile Panna Cotta! If you make this and Instagram it, please tag @dalkohm and @hummingbirdgardensrva so we can see your work in all its glory! If you'd like to purchase chamomile flowers, please get in touch!
Thanks to Hannah for this awesome recipe!
CHAMOMILE PANNA COTTA
3 Cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup dried chamomile flowers
1. In a small sauce pan, combine 2 cups of the heavy cream, vanilla bean or vanilla extract, chamomile flowers and sugar. Bring this to a simmer and remove from heat. Cover and allow it to steep for 30 minutes.
2. In a microwave proof bowl, bloom gelatin in remaining 1 cup of the heavy cream.
3. Strain chamomile heavy cream mixture through a cheese cloth lined sieve and squeeze out remaining liquid (get every bit of that amazing flavor).
4. Heat up gelatin mixture in microwave just until it dissolves (you don't want to boil it, as it will mess with the gelling properties) and add to the chamomile mixture.
5. Pour mixture into cups or jars (whatever you'd like to serve your panna cotta in) and chill them in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Once set, the last step is to enjoy!
I would say you could eat this solo, but I like to add some vanilla or ginger cookie crumbles, maybe a drizzle of honey, or some fresh berries and garnished with fresh chamomile flowers to make it extra pretty :)