Strawberry, lime and basil granita
There’s a newish greengrocers near me that is ridiculously cheap. Big piles of fruit and veg, all at very low prices. 5 limes for a quid. 8 apples for 99p. 5 broccoli heads for £1. It’s bargain central but, there’s a small price to pay. A lot (but by no means all) of the produce is pretty close to its end. Very ripe fruit and veg that needs using, fast. If you’re eating it that day then what does it matter? And if you aren’t, don’t think making jam is the only way of preserving fruit.
I found 2 punnets of amazingly fragrant strawberries, all crazy looking and non-supermarket friendly (which just made me love them more). They were £1.49 for 2. I was smitten.
Some went straight in my gob and the rest made their way into this granita. Beautiful ripe strawberries held in frozen suspension for days to come.
Most granita recipes use refined white sugar but I wanted to experiment with an alternative. Date syrup is sweet, yes, but also amazingly deeply fruity.
The entire recipe equals 462cals and I got at least 8 good sized portions out of it, which equals less than 58cals per portion.
Only start making this when you can be at home and near your freezer for about 4-5 hours. Do it one evening when you’re in anyway. You can pop out but you’ll need to pay the granita attention while you make it! Read the whole recipe through before starting.
400g ripe strawberries, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
4 tablespoons lime juice
15 basil leaves
90g date syrup
Put all the ingredients into a food processor or jug blender and blitz until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a shallow dish with a decent sized surface area, ideally about 20cm square.
Place in the freezer (you don’t need to cover it) for a couple of hours until ice crystals starts to form around the edges.
Use a fork to break the ice up and give the whole thing a good stir, scraping the frozen bits back into the mixture.
Place back in the freezer. Repeat this every hour or so over a period of 4-5 hours until the granita is frozen with a fluffy texture.
Use a fork to scrape the surface up and then spoon the scrapings into small glasses.
The granita can be stored in the freezer (covered) until you want to serve more. If you’re not on a fast day, liqueurs poured over granita make a great end to a meal on a hot day. I played around with some combos and found a dash of Stellacello’s Pompelmo poured over this one worked brilliantly. Try limoncello over lemon sorbet too. A classic.