October 15, 2012

Watermelon Cilantro Granita - October Secret Recipe Club

Inaugural Secret Recipe Club post!  This was supposed to happen last month, but unfortunately I broke my ankle and had surgery the day of my first reveal.  Oops, sorry SRC!  But no fear, my post was covered and I'm ready and raring to go for October!  Well, more puttering than raring but you get it.

The blog I was assigned is an adorable four-sister venture called Crumbs and Chaos.  It is run by Becca, Emily, Kate, and Megan and there are so many recipes I want to try!  The ladies have lovely baked goods, a focus on seasonal food, and highlight their fellow bloggers every week with their 5 on Fridays posts.  Bonus - the incredibly creative children's parties like the Minnie Mouse Party and the Spiderman Party.  I loved the Caramel Apple Cinna-minis for their tiny package of big fall flavors, the innovative Apple Pie Salsa that would perfectly pair with some baked pie crust pieces, and the supremely simple but flavorful Mongolian Beef Lettuce Wraps.  However, I don't have a crock pot or two legs to stand on so I chose something that was simple and fast so that I wouldn't hate my kitchen by the time I was finished.  Enter Watermelon Granita!

I love granita for its ease of preparation, its versatility, and (in my versions) a balance of tangy and sweet flavors.  The basic idea is to combine juice from any fruit(s), sweeten with a touch of sugar or simple syrup, freeze, and scrape (read: fluff) with a fork to create a light and airy frozen treat.  The key is to find the balance in the "base" of the granita before freezing by slowly adding the lime juice and simple syrup and tasting in between.  I chose cilantro and lime to complement my watermelon base, simple and unadorned flavors.

And you may be asking me, "Sarah, why are you doing a frozen dessert when my google reader and facebook is filled with apple and pumpkin recipes?"  Well, first of all, I made this last week when it was still 70-80 degrees out in DC so I could still comfortably wear shorts outside.  I hadn't taken my boots out of their boot shapers since April.  But most of all because it was barely fall yet.  This week, I feel like it is finally time to flood me with all things pumpkin and spice yet here I am with a granita.  Oh well, win some lose some.  Thanks, Crumbs and Chaos, for the inspiration!

Watermelon Cilantro Granita
Cilantro Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cilantro bundle, rough chopped (good way to use stems!)

In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and the water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.  The syrup should be clear!

Add the cilantro and let steep for 3-5 minutes.  Strain the syrup and let cool.

3 cups of chunked seedless watermelon
1 tablespoons of key lime juice or juice from 1 lime
zest from 1 lime
Cilantro Simple Syrup, to taste

In a food processor or blender, buzz up the watermelon until smooth.  Strain with a sieve to get fresh watermelon juice.

Add the lime zest and juice.  Add the cilantro simple syrup a little at a time, until you have the desired sweetness for you.  I used about 1-2 tablespoons.

Pour into a freezer safe container with a lot of surface area, so it is easier to scrape.  Every hour or so, pull from the freezer, scrape with a fork to break up the chunks until frozen solid.

Or you could be lazy like me and just scrape all at once at the end.  It's a little harder but gets you a much more Maryland snowball consistency.  Enjoy!



  1. Hello from group D! What an interesting take on watermelon granita! I made it once, we love it, but the cilantro syrup definitely made me curious...

    great twist!

    Have a nice Reveal Day!

  2. Officially welcome to SRC! Glad to see you're back on your feet (almost!)

  3. What a great color! I would love if you entered this recipe in my Power of Pink Challenge. All participants are entered into a drawing to win a $100 donation to the charity of your choice: http://www.beantownbaker.com/2012/10/5th-annual-power-of-pink-challenge.html

  4. Hi Sarah,
    Your Watermelon Cilantro Granita looks delicious. This is a very refreshing treat that will be filled with flavor. Great selection for the SRC.
    Miz Helen

  5. Sarah, This was one of my favorite posts this past summer! I love your addition of cilantro - sounds amazing!!

  6. Simple yet delicious, this will be a terrific light addition to holiday menus.

  7. Yum. Very interesting recipe. I've never had a granita..It's on my list now.

  8. This combination looks amazing! This looks so delicious.


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