Make Herb-Infused Granitas: Savory Lemongrass Granita


Tarragon and blood oranges, lemon verbena and peaches, and mint and grapefruit combine in these dare-to-be-different granitas.

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Samuelsson serves this granita with raw, sushi-quality yellowtail tuna, caviar, and mustard-flavored oil. Preparing raw fish at home can be tricky and is best left to the experts; however, this granita—cold in temperature but hot with spices—is also delicious with cold poached salmon or grilled tuna. Makes 2 cups.

• 1 8-inch-long piece fresh lemongrass, ­split lengthwise
• 1 slice fresh gingerroot, 1/2 inch thick
• 3 bags orange-flavored herbal tea
• 2 cups water
• 6 whole black peppercorns
• 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
• 2 tablespoons aquavit or vodka (optional)

1. In a large saucepan, bring all ingredients except the aquavit or vodka to a boil. Remove pan from heat, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the solids, then stir in the aquavit or vodka. Pour into a bowl and freeze until solid. The alcohol, if used, will prevent the granita from becoming rock hard.

2. Chop the mixture coarsely with a fork. Serve immediately with salmon or yellowtail tuna, plain crackers or toast points, and osetra caviar as a first course.

—Marcus Samuelsson, chef, Aquavit, New York

Sally King is a contributing editor for Bon Appétit and lives in Virginia, where granitas are most welcome in summer. The granita recipes she presents here can often be found on the menus of her favorite restaurants.

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