A granita is a traditional Italian dessert of puréed fresh fruit, sugar, and water that is semi-frozen and then scraped or shaved. Similar to sorbettos and italian ices, granitas differ because of a much coarser texture. They are very simple to make and usually never contain more than four ingredients, and so versatile; you can use almost any seasonal fruit to make a granita. Taking advantage of the abundance of cheap, seasonal melons at the Alemany Farmer's Market (I got two cantaloupes for $1.50!) I decided to make a refreshing cantaloupe granita.
Cantaloupe Granita Recipe
1 ripe cantaloupe, seeded, rind trimmed off, and cut in chunks
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water
1/4 c. sugar - you could halve this amount if you want less sugar, or substitute your favorite sweetner
Optional: fresh chopped mint, basil, or tarragon
In a blender or food processor, purée the cantaloupe until smooth. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice, water, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add to the cantaloupe and mix well. Pour in a non-reactive dish, like a Pyrex casserole dish, and freeze. When frozen, scrape with a fork and add to a serving bowl. You can experiment by sprinkling with fresh chopped herbs like mint, basil, or tarragon. If you wanted to add a little alcohol to this, about 1/4 a cup of prosecco mixed into the cantaloupe and sugar water would work nicely.
This dessert is so sweet and delicious, and such a pretty color, too!
(Image: Kathryn Hill)