At blogalicious, we like to cook, which involves tasting, guessing, improvisation. We do not, on the other hand, like to bake, which involves math, science, measuring and all kind of yucky numbers that just make us hungry. To this effect, you might say we're like Rachael Ray. With better boobs. Due to this baking aversion, dessert in our kitchen in the summer often involves granita, so easy it practically makes itself. This week, we zipped up a zinger: strawberry-lime-and-black pepper, spicy and sour and sweet and icy and so wickedly refreshing. Recipe below, but once you master the basic concept of making the stuff, the flavor combinations are endless. Peach and ginger? Cantaloupe and basil? Chocolate-espresso? Yes, yes, yes. The key: Keep it seasonal, with the best local produce you can find.
Strawberry-Lime-Black Pepper Granita (4 servings)
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
4 limes, juice and zest
2 tbsp. agave nectar
Handful mint, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Blend berries, lime juice and agave in blender till smooth. (Straining the mix is optional; we like the texture the seeds add.) Pour puree into freezer-proof square or rectangular casserole dish. Scatter chopped mint on top of the puree. Add a few twists of black pepper. Pop in the freezer. In 45 minutes, remove from freezer and scape across the surface of the frozen puree with fork, creating ice crystals. Return dish to freezer and repeat every half-hour until the granita is the texture of a coarser, drier water ice (about three times). Spoon granita into bowl, garnish with mint spring and a twist of black pepper.