Strawberry-Basil Granita

4 cups fresh, whole strawberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup (loose) fresh basil

Bring the water, sugar and basil to boil in a medium sauce pan. Boil, stirring occasionally until it reduces slightly and thickens to a light syrup. Strain and cool. Add to strawberries and blend until smooth in a blender. Pour mixture into 13×9 metal pan. Place in the freezer and freeze for 20 minutes. Rake any frozen areas with a fork, return to freezer for 20 minutes, then rake again. Re-freeze for 30 minutes, then rake with a fork before serving. It should look flaky and granular-not frozen solid. Store any leftovers in a freezer safe air-tight container in the freezer.

My thoughts:

I love making granita* because not only is it quick and easy (no ice cream maker required) but it is a great way to use up fruit that is on the urge of going bad. I had rather a lot of strawberries leftover from cupcake making and there was no way the two of us were going to be able to eat them before they spoilt. Enter the granita. It took about 5 minutes to mix together and now I have a fruit-packed, slightly herbal frozen treat that will keep longer in the freezer than the berries would have on my counter. The strawberries are fresh tasting and the basil keeps it from being too sweet.

*The difference between sorbet and granita is mostly a matter of technique. Sorbets are churned using a gelato or ice cream maker and the granita has a coarser texture as a result of being frozen in a sheet and raked with a fork. Sorbets can also contain egg whites (although not milk, that would make it sherbet) and granitas are a strickly a water-sugar-flavor affair.


  1. this looks refreshing. i love making granita!

    i had a drink at a bar in baltimore that was a strawberry basil mojito… and i LOVED the marraige of the two.

    looks like it worked great here too.

  2. Yummy. Our strawberries tend to mush up pretty quickly so, you’re right… this is a good option for those that are going astray!

  3. Your recent line of strawberry and herb dishes are just too damn interesting not to give them a go. This granita looks too easy to do. All I have to do now is just make room in my freezer!

  4. yum!! love basil and strawberries so this is cool. whole foods has a great basil gelato i love to get..

  5. The flavors sound so refreshing!

  6. You saved me from having to throw away an almost sad looking basket of strawberries I have sitting in my fridge. My daughter and I just couldn’t eat them fast enough!
    Thanks for the great ideas and again, the terrific photos.

  7. Ohh that sounds so good. I love the mix of strawberries and basil!

  8. I learn a lot about herbs from you – as in how to use them beyond your basic pasta or chicken dish!

    The granita is such a beautiful color!

  9. Wow, Rachel, this sounds really interesting. I can’t wait to try it. I have put together some interesting flavors in my time, but this seems really ingenious.

  10. i feel 10 degrees cooler just looking at this picture.

  11. My Sweet & Saucy

    I am obsessed with granita right now, so this recipe is quite tempting looking to me!

  12. Looks fantastic. I love granitas because they’re like a frozen flavor bomb of fruit. Creative use of basil!

  13. Ooooh! What a refreshing summer treat! Granitas are sold practically at every street corner here, but I have yet to make one at home…this sounds like a fab recipe to start with! I’m intrigued with the strawberry/basil combo! 🙂

  14. That looks so refreshing!

  15. that looks great! i’ll make that once my exams are over and have it all to myself 🙂

  16. I love the combo of basil with fruit. It’s the perfect summer pairing.

  17. Jessy and her dog Winnie

    Looks delicious and refreshing!

  18. This looks very refreshing!