As we plunge into the final depths of summer’s sweltering heat, there is no better respite than this icy cool honeydew granita. The recipe is from a brand new cookbook, Yummy Supper: 100 Fresh, Luscious & Honest Recipes from a Gluten-Free Omnivore.
The author of Yummy Supper, Erin Scott, shares her inspiration behind this chilling recipe:
I often think of the role color plays in our food choices and desires. A flash of red warns of fiery spice within a chile pepper, while leafy greens call to our instincts when we crave freshness. I know I’m deeply swayed by color when it comes to cooking, and every trip to the market is a visual feast enticing the omnivore in me. From the deep greens of rainbow chard leaves contrasting with their jewel-toned stems to sunny lemons, to dark crimson cherries, and the pinkest king salmon, it all inspires me to get cooking—and eating.
I’m not sure which came first, my love of honeydew melon or pale milky green as my favorite color. For me, honeydew green connotes a soft, fresh sweetness, and those are the words I’d use to describe the taste of this granita. The honest melon flavor is the star of the show, while the herbs and citrus are kind supporting actors in both flavor and color.
Note that Yummy Supper is not a completely dairy-free cookbook. Nonetheless, as someone with celiac disease, Erin knows a thing or two about special diet needs. She offers many wholesome recipes that are dairy-free like this honeydew granita.
Special Diet Notes: Honeydew Granita
By ingredients, this recipe for honeydew granita is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and generally top food allergy-friendly.
- 1 cup water
- 12 fresh lemon verbena leaves (fresh mint leaves are an easier-to-find substitute)
- 1 medium honeydew melon
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¾ cup light agave nectar or 1 cup superfine sugar (if your melon is super sweet, cut back on sweetener)
- Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the lemon verbena or mint leaves in a bowl. Cover and let steep for 20 to 30 minutes, then discard the leaves.
- Cut the melon open and scrape out the seeds, but don’t discard the tender, pale flesh surrounding the seeds—it’s so sweet and tasty. Remove the rinds and cut the melon into chunks. You want about 4 cups chopped melon.
- Using a standing blender or food processor, blend the verbena infusion, melon chunks, lime juice, and agave or sugar. (I like to do a couple of batches in my blender.) Pour the puree into a large bowl and give it a stir. Taste the pale green deliciousness and feel free to add a little more agave or sugar if your melon isn’t super sweet, keeping in mind that sweetness diminishes with freezing. Your puree can be made up to 24 hours before you want to freeze it. I usually let it chill in the fridge overnight.
- Pour the puree into a shallow baking dish. Cover and freeze for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the dish from the freezer and stir with a fork to break up any frozen bits. Make sure to scrape the edges of the pan—this is where freezing begins. Continue to freeze in 45-minute intervals, interspersed with scraping and freezing again. After a few hours of freezing and scraping, your granita should be ready to eat. (If you forget to stir and the granite solidifies, don’t worry; you can use a fork to scrape frozen granita and the texture will still be fantastic!)
- The granita keeps in the freezer for 2 weeks.