Author Notes: Can't say I'm super excited about this celery theme. But I'm up for the challenge, so here goes nothing. My first thoughts were to try a celery salsa (which flopped btw - hence no celery salsa recipe from mrslarkin.) And then I thought a sorbet might be nice to play around with. But seeing as I've been pretty lazy this week, I didn't feel like hauling out the big guns (i.e. the ice cream churner.) So I settled on the blender, which btw I hate with a passion. I have to lug it out, everything gets stuck in the blades, I get cranky, it takes forever to blitz ANYTHING, and it's so big and bulky. Ugh. So seeing as #1, I'm lazy, and #2, I am now cranky, and #3, I am so NOT using the ice cream churner, and #4, I am not straining any chunks out (see #1), this technically won’t be anything near the smoothness of a sorbet or a gelato. So I’m calling it a granita, which it probably isn’t either, because it’s got that chunkiness thing going on, which is really a good thing, because that’s where all the good-for-you dietary fiber is, right? Did I mention I hate the blender? In my research, I found a great Mark Bittman celery story that ran last year. Pretty cool stuff. My recipe is adapted from his. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/magazine/mag-08Eat-t-000.html?pagewanted=all
Food52 Review: Why don't I make a granita more often, I wondered as I stirred this one now and then. Mrslarkins's instructions are to "rake" it with a fork every half hour or so. It's very forgiving. As soon as 20 minutes or as long as 40 minutes were fine, which told me she had her measurements just exactly right. The acid in the form of lime juice was the perfect bright note the celery needed. It tasted like summer in a glass. She suggests drizzling it with a bit of balsamico, which I did, and it was lovely. But seconds were even better with a few dashes of Sriracha! This has a home on summer menus. - boulangere
Serves three or more
Celery Simple Syrup
- 1 green celery rib, sliced
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Let cool. Strain syrup and discard solids. Set aside.
- This makes a bit more than what's needed in the recipe. Store syrup in fridge.
- 4 ribs of green celery, sliced 1/4" thin (about 3 cups)
- 1/2 cup celery simple syrup
- juice of half a lime
- 1 tablespoon St. Germain liqueur
- pinch of salt
- aceto balsamico di Modena (the good stuff) to drizzle (optional)
- On a parchment-lined sheet pan, arrange sliced celery in a single layer. Place in freezer until solid.
- In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree. If you've got a Vitamix, you're a lucky dog. If not, it might take several minutes to puree the frozen celery. Just keep plugging along until you like the consistency. And taste for salt.
- Spread the mixture into a shallow freezer-safe vessel, like a square Pyrex dish. Freeze, and about every half hour or so, remove from freezer and rake the top with a fork. Twice should be enough. Spoon into serving glasses, wine glasses, or small clear bowls. The color of the granita is beautiful! Drizzle with the balsamico, if desired.