Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blueberry Ginger Granita

You can't have too many blueberries. Until you do. I was at Trader Joe's late last week and was overcome by the ginormous, 24-ounce containers for sale of plump berries for about $6. Of course, I bought one but even by the end of the weekend, I barely made a dent in it just by snacking. By Monday I saw the faintest beginnings of shriveling so I had to make a quick decision about their future. Since I rarely bake anymore (oh, do I miss that!), I opted for making a blueberry granita. And, since I had a big knob of ginger, a jar of local honey, limes on my little tree, and cinnamon, I figured this was an easy call.


Now, it may (unofficially) be summer, but the weather isn't cooperating. San Diego has been blanketed with June gloom. Nevertheless, a bite of icy, crunchiness with the sweet-tart flavors of blueberries is irresistible. And, this is one of those desserts that's both pretty healthy and just ridiculously easy to make -- just combine everything in the food processor or blender and whrrrr -- that's it. I think it took me longer to wash the food processor pieces and measuring spoons than it did to actually put it together for the freezer. So, it's also a perfect summer dinner party dessert for the stressed out cook.

We'll have a heat wave soon enough, so now you're prepared, right?

Blueberry Ginger Granita
(printable recipe)
Makes four servings

2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and stem-free
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (for just a hint of spice)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor with the steel blade (or in a blender). Blend until smooth with just specks of blueberries. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish.


Cover and place in the freezer. After an hour, pull it out and scrape the mixture with a fork.


Return it to the freezer and repeat every half hour or so to get that grainy granita texture. It's ready when all the liquid has frozen and it's like a hard slush.

Garnish with more fresh, whole blueberries or small pieces of mango, pineapple, or other tropical fruit -- or with a big dollop of whipped cream and sprig of mint. Store in the freezer and eat within a couple of days while the flavor is still popping.


P.S. Hey, what are you up to next Tuesday evening (that would be June 12th)? How about heading over to Alchemy for a fun evening that supports the new Front Burner Fund? A group of local chefs, including Julie Darling, Flor Franco, and Maria Sparks, decided to launch a foundation that will provide financial support for back-of-the-house restaurant workers with healthcare emergencies. The first beneficiary will be Alchemy's executive chef Ricardo Heredia, who needs critical corrective eye surgery. No money? No health care? No surgery. So, this fund will enable that and get rid of his pirate's eye patch.


The event is from 5:30 to midnight at Alchemy, where chefs Hanis Cavin, Tommy Fraioli, Tina Luu, Miguel Valdez, Chad White, Ron Oliver, Cruz Caudillo and others will prepare tastes. Then come the food trucks! Plus wine! Plus beer! And, you can enjoy all this for all of $25. Buy your tickets here. See you there!

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