Strawberries and Cream Granita and Other Good Eats

Summer has ended.

Unofficially, at least, summer has ended with Labor Day this past weekend. I have yet to put away my white jeans and dig up my fall boots, but I before I start whipping up all things pumpkin, I wanted to share an easy recipe that will let you re-create summer all year round, as well as some other good eats I had over the past few months.

This is the third of my Good Eats Series where I share some some of the great foods I’ve enjoyed but were previously undocumented. This installment includes some quintessentially summery foods: burger, lobster, picnic-friendly dips, and an icy treat.

I’m all about ice cream and gelato, but sometimes I want a cool treat that’s lighter. So I made this Strawberries and Cream Granita several times over the summer, using fresh and frozen strawberries. Both work equally well, and I bet you can substitute other frozen berries as well.

At the beginning of summer, my friend Dan made this Indian Smokehouse Burger – juicy burger on a buttered homemade naan with crunchy pakora (deep fried veggie fritters) and Indian-spiced barbecue sauce.  Read that sentence again and try not to drool. You can find the recipe on Dan’s blog: The Food in My Beard.

I made this creamy feta dip with jalapenos and roasted garlic for a picnic and everyone went crazy for it. I used Jessica’s recipe from How Sweet It Is and she says it’s based on a restaurant item and a dip sold at Whole Foods called Crazy Feta. Very apt name, indeed.

I’ve been eating quinoa for breakfast, subbing cooked quinoa for oatmeal and adding different toppings. You guys know how much I love oatmeal (check out my Oatmeal 7 Ways post) but I’ve been switching it up with quinoa for the texture – and also because I always end up with leftover quinoa. This one had vanilla almond milk, blueberries, and chopped chocolate roasted almonds from Q’s Nuts.

This is a dish that my dad came up with many years ago, and that my mom makes as well. It’s a stir fry of mung bean sprouts (called togue in the Philippines), cabbage, mushrooms, garlic, onions, ground beef, and tofu. My mom is here in Boston with me and I’ve been asking her to make this for dinner once a week. I know I can cook it myself, but the versions cooked by parents just taste so much better. (And also, I have a tendency to regress into a child when my parents come to visit me, depending on them for all sorts of things like dinner.)

My mom and I shared this lobster tasting plate at North 26. It had a 1 1/2 lb Maine lobster – beer battered claws, grilled tail and knuckle meat scampi, plus mushrooms and a leek and potato cake. I usually just eat lobster in the form of lobster rolls or dipped in butter, and this tasting plate was a great way to try different lobster preparations.

My friends and I checked out Happy’s Bar and Kitchen a few weeks after it opened and we shared this appetizer of homemade ricotta with olive oil and sage, served with crostini. It was really tasty and I’ve been re-creating it at home. Happy’s is owned by Michael Schlow, who also owns Tico and a few other restaurants in Boston. I remember my favorite dish at Tico was the fried manchego cheese… I guess I am now a fan of Mr. Schlow’s cheese preparations.

And I didn’t forget that I promised you guys a recipe! Although this isn’t really a recipe but more like a guide, because I’ve played around with the proportions and the granita always comes out so good. I really like the silkiness that a touch of cream brings to a recipe, as it does here. And I love this granita even more because it is pink.

Strawberries and Cream Granita

Ingredients

2 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
1/2 cup almond milk (or any kind of milk you want)
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream (or half and half)

Directions

  1. Put strawberries and sugar, if using, in a blender and puree until smooth. Add water and lemon juice and process to blend. Pour into an 8x8 inch baking pan or any freezer-safe pan. Drizzle in almond milk and swirl with a fork. Drizzle in cream and swirl with a fork.
  2. Place in freezer. Freeze until icy around edges, about 25 minutes. Using a fork, stir icy portions into middle of pan. Place back in freezer, stirring frozen edges into center every 30 minutes, for about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Scrape the granita into flaky crystals using a fork. Transfer into serving glasses and serve immediately. This can be made a day or two ahead, just keep it frozen.

Hope you all had a great summer! What were some of your own good eats?

   

28 Responses to “Strawberries and Cream Granita and Other Good Eats”

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    Jenny @ BAKE posted September 5, 2012 at 7:53 am

    what a brilliant dessert! it looks so summery and delicious

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    Daisy posted September 5, 2012 at 9:58 am

    everything here looks so good. I can attest to the deliciousness that is Happy’s ricotta. I have only been to North 26 for brunch, that lobster looks insane.

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    Shannon posted September 5, 2012 at 11:05 am

    you’ve been eating so much good food this summer! making me hungry :) that indian burger and ricotta look awefully tempting!

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    Erica @ In and Around Town posted September 5, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Looks like a fun summer! I have never made a granita, but its something I need to do – such a great dessert.

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    Barbara posted September 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Your granita is dreamy-looking! Love that soft color and I bet it tasted fabulous!
    Bring on the pumpkin recipes! I love ‘em.

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    Lin @ BeantownEats posted September 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    The ricotta at Happy’s is one of my favorite apps there! I have muslix a lot for breakfast and use uncooked rolled oats; I’ll have to give quinoa a try!

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    Michelle Collins posted September 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Looks like you ate pretty well this summer! I had some delicious dinners from the grill, and our CSA provided us with a lot of new veggie dishes.

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    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted September 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I love this dessert idea, and the color is so pretty! That burger that Dan made also looks absolutely incredible…wow.

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    Alaina posted September 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Would you like to cater my housewarming party? ;-)

    That burger does look amazing! I think I need to put Dan in my reader.

    Hope you’re having a great week!!

    • Bianca Garcia replied September 5th, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Haha I actually just told my parents that I want to cater my dad’s birthday party this coming December, except by “cater” I mean “be in charge of the dessert table” :)

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    Juliana posted September 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Everything looks delicious…and I love the idea of strawberry and cream for the granita :)
    Hope you are having a great week Bianca!

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    Megan posted September 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    That breakfast quinoa sounds really good. And I love that ricotta app at Happy’s.

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    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted September 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    You’ve been eating well! I like the non-traditional creaminess of the granita… and, of course, I can’t forget Tico’s fried manchego either!

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    13
    Kathryn posted September 5, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    This round up has made me so hungry!

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    Amy (Savory Moments) posted September 6, 2012 at 6:50 am

    The strawberry and cream granita looks delicious! Very refreshing!

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    Meghan posted September 6, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I absolutely love the ricotta at Happy’s!

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    Sues posted September 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

    What a summer full of good eats! That granita looks and sounds perfect. But the feta and jalapeno dip?? SO GOOD!!

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    Tracey posted September 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I love this series and what a tasty looking and easy dessert, which I am just going to have to try!

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    Baking Serendipity posted September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I’ve been loving quinoa for breakfast and granitas this summer too. Your strawberries and cream version sounds fantastic! As ready as I am for fall and pumpkin too, I’m glad it’s still warm enough to try this :)

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    Stephanie posted September 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    We love picnics and this year’s Labor Day was a perfect opportunity to go to our favorite High Park in Toronto and have a little fun with our children. But now that I’ve read your post I am looking forward to our next picnic even more and I’ll definitely prepare some of the dishes shown in your pictures.

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    Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings posted September 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    This is a great series! You should start this with a group of food bloggers! I’m in, if you do! LOL! Sometimes, we find that hidden gem in undocumented meals :)

    • Bianca Garcia replied September 8th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      Oooh that is a good idea…

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    Taryn posted September 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I love your Good Eats Series idea – I have so many photos sitting on my phone and computer of places I’ve been and yummy things I’ve eaten that have gone undocumented. This is the perfect fix for that problem!

    • Bianca Garcia replied September 8th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks, Taryn! Maybe I should start a Good Eats series with other bloggers like you and Jen (see her comment above)!

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    Liz posted September 11, 2012 at 7:27 am

    This is a great variety of summery foods! I need to check out Happy’s (and when I do, I’m ordering the ricotta).

    My favorite dish listed might be your parents’ stir fry – that combination sounds delicious. What kind of seasoning goes into it? I’m the same way when I see my parents – my Mom slowly makes her way through the list of all my favorites.

    • Bianca Garcia replied September 11th, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Thanks Liz! It’s just garlic, onions, salt, pepper, and a little soy sauce :)

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    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious posted September 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    This looks amazing! And a sure way to cool off in this heat – it’s still in the 90s here in LA!

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    Choc Chip Uru posted September 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Mmmm this granita looks way too good :D
    For some reason, it looks like it would taste like an icy version of the chuppa chup flavour – YUM :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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