More than half of the food the average Trinbagonian eats is imported. This should come as no surprise since our twin isle’s annual food import bill is approximately $6 billion. By purchasing local, you funnel money back into our community and support its growth and sustainability for future generations. Our weekly column “In Season” features a sweet and savoury recipe for one readily-available ingredient, so you can take advantage of the vibrant bounty from farmers’ markets, local farm stands, and your own yard.
Used either fresh or dried, the versatility of mint is underutilised and perhaps unknown in Trinidad. Mint leaves are warm, aromatic and have a cool aftertaste. It’s frequently used in jellies, teas, Middle-Eastern and British cuisine and of course, mint juleps and mojitos. Many types of mint plants are available in Trinidad; chocolate mint, spearmint and peppermint all grow vigorously indoors or outside. The herb adds different dimensions to dishes whether it be hot, cold, sweet or savoury. Head down to your nearest plant shop and purchase a mint plant. You’ll quickly find that the often overlooked herb can do more than just add flavour to gum or your favourite rum cocktail.
Yogurt Panna Cotta with mint glazed fruits
The cooling aftertaste of mint permeates this tart and the slightly sweet fruits to create deliciously glazed apricots and mangoes. This beautifully complements the creaminess of the yoghurt panna cotta. Together they make the perfect light dessert that's worth the wait.
Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
(plus 3 to 4 hours for setting time)
2 ½ teaspoons gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
½ cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
⅓ cup sugar
2 cups Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
For the mint glazed fruits:
½ cup apricots, halves
1 cup firm mango, cubed
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
4 stems fresh mint
1 In a small bowl, combine water and gelatin. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until the gelatin blooms.
2 In a small saucepan, add the milk, cream, vanilla and sugar. Let it come to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Stir in the gelatin until dissolved and then mix in the yoghurt.
3 Pour the mixture into ramekins or 1 large dish. Allow to chill for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
4 In a small saucepan, simmer the apricots with water, sugar and mint on a low heat until it reduces by half and the apricots are plump. Cool for 10 minutes and then gently stir in your mango cubes. Refrigerate.
5 When panna cotta has set, run a knife around the edges of the dish; place a platter or plate upside-down over the top of the dessert and flip onto the plate.
6 Spoon the mint glazed fruits over and serve.
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