What you will need:
• 5 tablespoons sugar
• 1 quart (4 cups) ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons vodka (optional)
• 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon Patricia & Paul Traditional aged Balsamic
• 1 tablespoon basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1. STEP 1
To make the sugar syrup, combine 3/4 cup water and 4 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
2. STEP 2
Place half the strawberries in a blender with the sugar syrup, lemon juice, and vodka, if using. Puree. Transfer to a fine mesh sieve and press on puree, pushing the pulp through. Discard seeds remaining in sieve.
3. STEP 3
Pour mixture into a shallow 8-inch square pan. Freeze 2 to 3 hours, or until almost completely frozen. Scrape granita with a fork to make it flaky. Freeze for another hour and scrape again. When ready to serve, scrape again.
4. STEP 4
About 30 minutes before serving, quarter remaining strawberries lengthwise and transfer to a bowl. Add remaining tablespoon sugar, pepper, and Patricia & Paul Balsamic ; mash slightly with a fork, keeping mixture chunky. Add basil.
5. STEP 5
To serve, scrape some granita into four glasses and top with smashed strawberries.
Body+Soul, June 2007