A granita has larger ice crystals than a sorbet, and does not require an ice cream maker. This elegant recipe is spiked with sparkling wine, but it can be omitted for an alcohol-free version.
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 cups water
• 2 rosemary sprigs, about 3 inches long
• 2 teaspoons lavender buds, fresh or dried
• 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
• ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup sparkling wine (optional)
1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in small saucepan. Drop in rosemary, lavender and ginger, then cover pan and remove from heat.
2. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain syrup into a stainless steel bowl.
3. Chill. Stir in lemon juice and sparkling wine. Put the bowl in the freezer and stir every 30 minutes to 1 hour until slushy.
4. Freeze granita completely. When ready to serve, scrape granita with side of a large metal spoon to break up ice crystals.
Jerry Traunfeld, author of The Herbal Kitchen (William Morrow, 2005), received the James Beard Award for Best American Chef of the Northwest in 2000.
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