For the Garlic Panna Cotta:
¼ cup garlic clove, halved
2 cups whole milk
1 packet powdered gelatin (about 2 teaspoons)
¼ cup cold water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
For the Tomato Water:
2 ¼ pounds very ripe tomatoes, chopped into 1½-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
12 basil leaves
For the Tomato Soup:
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 large basil leaves
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
Pinch of sugar
Salt, to taste
¾ cup tomato water
Micro basil, for garnish (optional)
Garlic flower, for garnish (optional)
1. Make the garlic panna cotta: Place garlic in a medium saucepan; add cold water and bring to a boil. Drain; repeat twice. Combine the blanched garlic and milk in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is completely tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and purée on high speed until smooth.
2. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over cold water and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, return the garlicky milk mixture to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. When the mixture is warm, whisk in the gelatin mixture until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cream, season with salt and remove from heat. Pour about ½ cup of the panna cotta mixture into five 8-ounce wide mouth mason jars and chill in refrigerator until set, about 2 hours.
3. Make the tomato water: Combine the tomatoes, salt and basil in a large bowl and allow to sit at room temperature until the tomatoes have softened and released their liquid, about 3 hours. Transfer tomatoes to a blender and purée on high speed until smooth. Place tomato purée in a large fine-sieve lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight, making sure not to put pressure on the tomatoes as the tomato water will become cloudy. Remove and discard solids. Cover tomato water and chill. (The tomato water can be made up to two days ahead.)
4. Make the tomato soup: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, basil, garlic and sugar. Season with salt and bring to a bare simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes release their juice, about 10 minutes. Pass the tomatoes through the medium coarse plate of a food mill. Combine with tomato water and adjust seasoning. Make ahead: Can be made up to two days ahead.
5. To serve, place a few pieces of micro basil and garlic flowers on top of each panna cotta. Ladle in about ⅓ cup tomato soup over herbs and serve immediately.