Zingy lemon and fragrant basil work wonderfully together, creating a refreshing harmony that, at least for a short time, brings relief from the summer heat. But I think it is equally capable to bring back a trace of summer to cold, dull winters day. Luckily it is easily done “a la minute” whenever you are in the mood for it. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!
During summer the heat often is unbearable for me. Especially in the afternoon, when the sun hits the windows of our small flat and the temperature rises, I have a hard time concentrating. When I can’t take it anymore, I make a granita. Often it is the classic coffee granita, but lately I’ve developed a preference for the even more refreshing lemon type. The basil isn’t mandatory, but an incredible flavour pairing, so give it a try.
As easy as this recipe is, its success heavily depends on the ratio of ice cubes to liquids and the implement you use to crush the ice. I’ll give you the exact protocol that works for me, but you may need to vary it accordingly to your needs. As a general rule, start with little to no added water. You can always add more later if necessary.
- the cest and juice of one (organic) lemon
- 5-10 basil leaves
- 15 relatively large ice cubes
- sweetener, a pinch of salt, a little water
- Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a powerful food processor. We use this.
- Only use a little water (we use approx. 100ml) and add more if needed later. Blitz in the food processor, using the “pulse” function often, until you are satisfied with the result.
- Taste, season and eat immediately. Do not chill again, it will turn into a block of solid ice.
Makes two portions. To be honest, I wouldn’t track this. If you really want to, just track half a lemon. Easy.
Any citrus fruit will work in a granita. Just be mindful that the sweeter varieties like oranges and tangerines simply lack a sour counterpart. Mix them with the sour kinds like grapefruit or yuzu (if you are lucky to find that) for optimal results.
Almost all the “soft” herbs should work likewise. Mint is already a classic combination with citrus fruits. Parsley could be very interesting. Perhaps a hint of lavender? Rosemary for the brave. Just get creative!
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