Here we have a simple panna cotta elevated to something special for summer. I love panna cotta because its rather easy to put together but the rich custard like dessert has the most pleasant, decadent mouth feel. The sweetness of the coconut milk is balanced by the refreshing summer compote. Roasting the strawberries on a high heat will add more depth and complexity rather than just simply cooking them. The rhubarb will bring shots of acid as well as texture to bring the whole dish together.
For the Panna Cotta: Bring the cream, milk, coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla bean to a boil. Allow mixture to steep for at least an hour to maximize flavor of the vanilla bean. Bloom the gelatin by soaking the sheets in ice water until just soft and squeeze them dry in your hands. Melt the gelatin sheets into the warm coconut milk mixture and distribute into 8 glasses. Allow to chill overnight. This will keep for 5 days.
For the Compote: Slice the rhubarb ¼ “thin with a sharp knife. Be sure the rhubarb is peeled completely as the rhubarb is very stringy. On medium high heat roast the strawberries in a small amount of oil (about 3-5 minutes). Once a dark red almost black color is achieved and add sugar and a touch of salt. Allow sugar to caramelize and add vanilla bean then deglaze with port wine. Reduce the wine by half and add the slice rhubarb and lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute (Rhubarb cooks very quickly and will end up mushy is heat is applied for too long. Cool and reserve.
To Serve: Add just enough compote on top of the panna cotta to cover the surface area of the top of the panna cotta. Serve immediately.