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Grilled Strawberry & Blue Basil Granita #ImprovCookingChallenge


Welcome to the June 2020 Improv Cooking Challenge. This group is headed up by Nichole of Cookaholic Wife. And I haven't been very consistent, but I love the idea of the group, so I will try to be better in the coming months.


The idea behind Improv Cooking Challenge: we are assigned two ingredients and are challenged to create a recipe with those two things. This month's items: strawberries and basil. Here's what the crew is sharing with those ingredients...

Grilled Strawberry & Blue Basil Granita

I happened to have a flat of organic strawberries from a local farm and decided to make a granita with grilled strawberries, adding a touch of exotic with blue basil from my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf's herb garden.



Granita is a frozen dessert that I remember mostly from Sicily. It may have been available throughout Italy, but I remember sitting in piazze all over Palermo, eating granita, and talking about our next day's adventure. I don't remember that gloriously cool rush of icy sugar from when I lived in Rome. My favorite part: It's amazingly simple and flexible. 

Granitas are great because they have so few ingredients and even fewer rules! Use any watery fruit. Use any citrus. I've made Watermelon-Tequila Granita, Pluot-Port Granita, and even a Cuba Libra Granita. Okay, there's not real fruit in that last one, but you really can't go wrong with rum and coke!


Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons blue basil leaves and blossoms + a few whole flowers for garnish
  • 1 ½ pounds strawberries, approximately 2 pints


Procedure
Place blue basil in a sterile jar. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the syrup into the jar with the blue basil. Let cool completely.


Heat grill or grill pan on the stove; I opted for the latter as our grill is packed and ready for our move. Thread strawberries onto a skewer.


Grill strawberries until softened and juices are bubbling, approximately 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.


Once cooled puree grilled strawberries with 1/2 cup blue basil syrup. Reserve the rest for some blue basil lemonade!


Pour mixture into a rimmed pan . Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer.


Using the tines of a fork, stir the mixture every 30 minutes, scraping edges and breaking up any ice chunks as the mixture freezes, until granita is slushy and frozen, approximately 3 hours.


Scoop into chilled serving glasses. Garnish with more blue basil leaves and blossoms.


That's a wrap for strawberry-basil improv cooking challenge. We'll be back next month - on July 9th - with recipes that use watermelon and olive oil. Stay tuned...

Comments

  1. What a wonderfully refreshing treat for a hot summer day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is just perfect for summer! I have had granitas on my "to make" list for so long, but just need to get around to actually doing it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yum, that looks like it would be so good and refreshing on a hot summer day. I had no idea it was that easy to make granita's!

    ReplyDelete

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