Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest


All-in-One Dessert & Cocktail: Granita

Rhubarb Granita

Desserts are clearly not my specialty since I have one cookie recipe and one cake recipe that I make over and over again. Usually if someone else offers to make dessert, I don’t hesitate to agree. Last week while making a birthday dinner for a friend that shares my love of light, fresh, seasonal desserts, I branched out and tried a rhubarb granita. It was a big enough hit that it’ll easily make my dessert list. And the summer cocktails you can make — don’t worry, I’ll get to that.

 Rhubarb & Strawberries

My only regret is that I let myself get suckered into buying some organic strawberries from California, out-of-season for us here in the Northwest. There seems to be a myth about rhubarb — some say without strawberries, it’s just not sweet enough. I know better but you know how it is when you trust a recipe more than your instincts. Strawberries will be in season here very soon so if you choose to use them, please wait (local strawberry update — first of the season available at University District Farmers Market on Saturday). If you’re like me and love rhubarb for what it is (and have an over-abundance in the garden), just use that.

Rhubarb Granita Recipe

Ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar/ 6 – 8 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1″ pieces (use 10-12 if you omit the strawberries)/ 1 cup sliced strawberries/ Juice of one lemon/ Several sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)

Directions: Bring sugar and 1 cup water over high heat to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar/ Reduce heat to medium-high and add rhubarb/ Cook until tender, about 5 minutes/ Add strawberries, lemon juice and thyme and cook 2-3 minutes longer.

Rhubarb & Strawberries

Remove from the heat and let it sit undisturbed for about 15 minutes/ Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a 9 x 13 baking dish, lightly pressing the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to release all the liquid/ Discard the solids, let the liquids cool down then cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

Rhubarb Granita

Using a fork, stir the mixture every 30 minutes, scraping the edges and breaking up any ice that forms as the mixture freezes/ When the mixture is slushy and frozen, about 2-3 hours later, it’s ready to serve/ To serve later, scoop into a container with a lid and place back in the freezer.

Rhubarb Granita

I love whipped cream so this is how I served it, along with a couple of strawberries on top. Thanks to Saveur for the inspiration for this recipe.

Now, about those cocktails. The following evening my master mixologist husband was shaking up a couple of quick G & T’s and decided to add some granita to the mix. Great move, Charlie. For those of you who’ve never tasted a Charlie Cocktail, they’re always delicious but this opens a whole new world of summer cocktails. As we sipped, we couldn’t help but think up all sorts of seasonal combinations for our next batch of granita.

Rhubarb Granita Gin & Tonic

Rhubarb Granita Gin & Tonics (for 2)

Ingredients: 2 T rhubarb granita (and 2 more for garnish)/ 4 oz gin/ Juice of one lime (or lemon or a mixture of both)/ Tonic.

Directions: Place gin, lime juice and granita in a shaker filled with ice/ Shake and strain into 2 ice-filled glasses/ Top off with tonic/ Add another spoonful of granita as a garnish (we didn’t think of it but a sprig of fresh thyme would be lovely too).

Rhubarb Granita Gin & Tonic

For the true all-in-one experience, you can just put the granita in a glass, pour some booze over the top and call it good. Let the summer cocktail season begin!







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4 Responses »

  1. oh my, yum. I tend to only think of rhubarb in terms of baked goods. learning about new ways to use produce is why I read your blog! thanks!

  2. Makes me imagine granitas of many flavors as a cocktail base. Basil granita, mint, lemongrass . . . thanks for the inspiration.
    I always feel free to keep my rhubarb free of strawberries, and visa versa. So, I’m with you on that.

  3. Andrea, thank you for stopping by our blog!
    Sally, I’m also inspired to try out many different granitas using herbs. A mint julep granita, perhaps??

  4. Poppy,
    Thanks for the sweet appreciation. You are my inspiration.

    Beautiful photos as always. C.