When I posted about my last CSA box Bill over at Tinkering with Dinner was nice enough to give me some directions for using the watermelon to make a sorbet (He's been doing some amazing ones on his blog). Since I don't have an ice cream maker I'm not able to do the churning to get a smooth sorbet but was able to use the same idea to get a granita. In case you are wondering according to Wikipedia the only real difference between a sorbet & granita is the size of the ice crystals, so yes in this case size does matter.
I decided to add basil to this because Matt really liked the flavor of basil in the watermelon salad I made plus I have quite a bit still in the garden. I'm so glad I tried making this. It was really easy, the only time consuming bit was removing the seeds from the watermelon. You don't taste the few tablespoons of vodka in it but it keeps the granita from becoming a solid piece of ice. The end result is light & refreshing, it would be absolutely perfect on a hot summer day. Plus its healthier than ice cream!
Watermelon Basil Granita
1 small watermelon
2 T fresh basil, chopped
2/3 c sugar
2/3 c water
3 T vodka
Cut the watermelon into small pieces, removing any rind & seeds. Add it & the basil to a blender & purée until is it almost completely smooth, you really want this as smooth as possible. You should end up with about 3 cups of purée.
In a small saucepan heat the water & sugar until the sugar is dissolved, making a simple syrup.
Mix the watermelon purée, simple syrup & vodka together in a container with a lid & put into the freezer. Allow to freeze to a slushy texture & then break up with a fork. Put back into the freezer & allow to harden up again. Break up with a fork again when ready to serve.
Makes 4 - 6 servings
Now I want to try a lemon version next summer using limoncello.
Looking for more dessert ideas?
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Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes