Watermelon Basil Granita

August 22, 2010

One of my favorite things to cool off with in the summer is a snow cone. Tiny crystals of ice bathed in sweet syrup is pure refreshment down to the last bite. I am not crazy about all the artificial things you find in most snow cones, but I still buy one every chance I get. I spent most of my first pregnancy craving snow cones. Since they are not all that easy to find in most places I only had one that whole summer. When Deb from smitten kitchen pointed out last summer that granitas are essentially the same thing, only natural and homemade, I could have kicked myself. All that flavorful frozen goodness I could have been enjoying if only I didn’t always pass up granita recipes in favor of richer desserts! This summer I decided it was time to rectify my mistake. When I brought home a watermelon from the farm stand only to realize that my dad had bought one as well, watermelon seemed like a good place to start.

This watermelon granita is very refreshing. Not too sweet, it is perfect for cooling off on a hot summer’s day. I love the depth of flavor that the basil gives it, but for the less adventurous you could leave it out or substitute mint instead. It would also make a nice palette cleanser between courses.

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Ingredients & Quantities

4 cups seedless watermelon chunks
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 small basil leaves

watermelon granita-1

Cooking Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Pour into a shallow, wide pan and freeze for 1 hour. Rake mixture with fork and freeze for another hour. Rake and freeze for one more hour. Rake and serve in cups.

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