Granita, which originated in Italy, is similar to shaved or Italian ices. It is a light, refreshing concoction made of frozen flakes of seasonal produce. Granitas can be sweetened (think of slushies) and eaten as a light dessert, or mildly flavored and served as a palate cleanser between courses in a meal. Despite their fancy-sounding name, they are a breeze to make and a delight to eat. This particular one features watermelon that is only slightly sweetened with raw agave nectar and perfumed with lime zest and a touch of dry lavender. Please make sure that if you decide to use lavender, it is
- 4 cups (1 3/4 pounds) cubed seedless watermelon -
- 1/4 cup raw agave nectar (or honey) -
- Juice (about 1 tablespoon) and zest of 1 lime -
- 1 teaspoon dry culinary lavender, plus more for garnish (optional) -
1. Purée watermelon, agave, lime juice and zest and lavender (if using) in a blender until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into a 9x9 or 10x10-inch metal baking pan (DO NOT USE GLASS!) and place in the freezer.
3. After 1 hour, run over the ice with the dents of a fork, scraping the ice to form flakes.
4. Repeat scraping after 1 or 2 hours to turn ice into the consistency of snowflakes.
5. Serve or cover with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 days.