A few days after we moved into our new home I noticed two extremely large bunches of mint growing. At first I wasn’t sure what type of plant they were but a quick sniff and a google search confirmed that we were indeed inundated with mint plants. At first Iw as really excited an all gung-ho about making mojito mocktails and cocktails for days but then I realized that the honey bees shared my enthusiasm for the fragrant plant and the wind was sort of knocked out of my sails.
We decided to remove quite a bit of the plants for the safety of the kiddos and use up as much of the mint as we could so as to not let it go to waste. Besides making a boat load of alcoholic and non alcoholic mojitos, I was searching for another refreshing way to use up our plethora of fresh mint leaves. The entire family was really digging the combo of citrus mint and judging by the way my kids (ages 3 and 1) sucked down their virgin mojitos (aww so sweet, baby’s first cocktail mocktail) my next inclination was to turn those ingredients into one killer granita. The bright, fresh flavor of citrus fruit (in this case lemon and orange) works so well with the coolness of fresh mint.
Granita is a dessert that originated in Sicily and it’s made from sugar, water and various flavorings. I make them all of the time in various ways. Once you’ve got the technique down you are free to play around with ideas and create your own recipes. You are only limited by your imagination. My older son just loves helping me scrape the ice and get so excited to see it fluff up like delicious sugary snow. Yum! Granita really couldn’t be simpler to make and can even be made ahead of time which makes them killer as a summer dessert to entertain with. After the granita is frozen and scraped, you can keep it in the freezer until you are ready to serve.
Citrus Mint Granita
- 1 cup of freshly squeezed citrus juice (I used lemon and orange)
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups water
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1. In a large bowl whisk together citrus juice and sugar. Add in mint leaves and muddle (or smash) them to bruise them and release their flavor. Strain the juice to remove the mint leaves and any seeds or pulp.
2. Pour into a baking dish or pie plate with high sides (I used a 10-inch glass pie plate). Make sure that will fit into your freezer. Freezer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the freezer and scrape with a fork to break up the ice. Return dish to the freezer for another 2-3 hours, then remove again and continue to scrape the ice. Repeat this process one more time until all of the ice is shaved into a fluffy, snow-like texture. Scoop out and serve when ready.
Christina Stanley-Salerno is a mama, recipe developer, food stylist, photographer and blogger atTakeBackYourTable.com. She loves cooking for and with her family. Life is hectic, but Christina is passionate about mealtime because she believes that family meals are the glue that holds everyone together. Creating simple, quick and healthy meals is her specialty and her trick to keeping the family meal a reality, even on busy weeknights.
Follow her on Twitter @TakeBackTables