It’s strawberry time again! Without doubt they are one of my favourite fruits, and delightfully easy to grow. You don’t even need a lot of space – a hanging basket or planter on a balcony can yield an amazing harvest, and trust me nothing in this world tastes better than a freshly picked, sun warmed strawberry. Not many of ours make it home from the allotment, but if you do manage to get some back to your kitchen, I can highly recommend this recipe! 

Roasted Strawberries & Elderflower Pana Cotta 

Preparation 25 minutes, plus 4 hours setting time 

Cooking time 10 minutes 

Serves 6 


  • 1 litre double cream  
  • 135g caster sugar 
  • 3 vanilla pods, split and seeds removed 
  • 50g elderflowers 
  • 4 sheets leaf gelatin, soaked in cold water until softened 

For the roasted strawberries 

  • 25g butter 
  • 150g small strawberries 
  • 1 pinch saffron strands 
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 100ml elderflower cordial 
  • a dash of balsamic vinegar 
  • grated pistachio nuts to decorate 


  1. Place the cream and sugar in a saucepan, add the vanilla pods and seeds, and bring to the boil. 
  1. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the fresh elderflowers.  Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes, before straining. 
  1. Soak the gelatin leaves in water to cover and set aside for 5 minutes 
  1. Squeeze any excess water from the gelatin leaves and add to the warm cream mixture, stirring until dissolved 
  1. Pour the mixture into small dariole moulds or ramekins, and chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours, until set. 
  1. For the strawberries, preheat the oven to 1800C / Gas 4.  Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan and add the strawberries and saffron.  After about 5 minutes, they should have darkened and taken on colour.  At this stage, add the cordial. 
  1. Transfer the strawberries to a roasting tin, pour over a little balsamic vinegar and bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes, spooning over any syrup from the strawberries every minute or so.  Leave to cool. 
  1. Turn the set panna cottas out of their moulds and accompany with the strawberries and syrup.  Decorate with grated pistachio nuts before serving. 

In Season this month 

Fruits & Nuts 
Cherries, Elderflowers, Rhubarb, Strawberries 
Vegetables & Herbs 
Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Chillies, Courgettes, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Lettuce, Mangetout, New Potatoes, Onions, Pak Choi, Peas, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Spinach, Spring Onions, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Nettles 
Meat & Game 
Lamb, Wood pigeon  
Fish & Shellfish 
Cod, Coley, Crab, Haddock, Hailbut, Herring, Langoustine, Plaice, Pollack, Prawns, Salmon, Sardines, Scallops (Queen), Sea Bream, Sea Trout, Shrimp, Squid, Whelks, Whitebait  
Going out of season 
Asparagus, Elderflower, Gooseberry, Hare, New Potatoes