A trio of lemon granitas offers a symphony of herbal flavors. Serves 6 to 8.
• 4 1/2 cups water
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup chopped, fresh ‘Dark Opal’ basil or to taste
• 1 cup chopped, fresh sorrel or to taste
• 1/4 cup fresh mint or to taste
• 1 ounce fresh gingerroot, peeled and sliced
• 3 cups freshly squeezed Meyer or other lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
• 1/2 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
• Sorrel leaves, slivered
• 6 to 8 sprigs ‘Dark Opal’ basil
1. In a large saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. Pour one-third of the sugar syrup into each of three medium saucepans. To one pan, add the basil; to the second, add the sorrel; to the third, add the mint and gingerroot. Bring each syrup to a boil, then remove the pans from the heat, cover, and steep for 30 minutes. Strain each mixture into a separate bowl and discard the solids.
3. Into each of three medium bowls, pour 1 cup lemon juice. Add 1 cup of basil syrup to one bowl, 1 cup sorrel syrup to the second, and 1 cup ginger-mint syrup to the third. Place the bowls in freezer and stir each with a fork every 30 minutes or until frozen.
4. Chop the granita mixtures coarsely with a fork. Fold the chopped mint leaves and crystallized ginger into the ginger-mint granita; garnish the sorrel granita with the sorrel chiffonade and the basil granita with the basil sprigs. Scoop some of each granita into neat piles on chilled dessert plates. Serve immediately.
—Nancy Oakes, chef, Boulevard, San Francisco
Click here for the main article, Make Herb-Infused Granitas .