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Author Notes: Forget the boring crudite, this spicy senorita puts summer fun into carrots by using them for this fantastic granita! —fo
2.5 pounds raw carrots, peeled - enough to yield 2.5 cups of juice
A 2 - 2.5 oz. knot of raw ginger, peeled - large enough to yield 4 TB juice
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp raw honey
A couple of rasps of nutmeg...
- Using your neglected juicer (I'm using a standard centrifugal juicer) juice your carrots directly into a glass measuring cup. The yield should be about 2.5 cups.
- A NOTE ON GINGER: I used mature ginger, which imparts a much stronger flavor than young. As well, some juicers juice more efficiently than others. Admittedly, mine is a little long in the tooth. Yours might be more of a Ferrari and yield a higher amount of juice. The reason I am adding this note is because too much ginger can ruin a batch of anything, including this granita, and this is a mercurial ingredient whose use must be metered from rhizome to rhizome. I have found that about 4 tablespoons is a balanced amount for this amount of carrot juice. And remember that as the juice sits, the ginger will 'bloom', and grow stronger, so add with prudence. My advice on how to maneuver is as follows:
- Juice a 2 oz. knob of fresh ginger. This should yield 4 tablespoons of ginger juice. Stir the ginger juice into the carrot juice to amalgamate the flavors, and taste. You might like yours a little spicier, so adjust the spice by juicing small knobs, and adding 1 teaspoon at a time to the juicer if you want it spicier. Using prudence with your additions ensures a successfully balanced granita.
- Whisk the spices and honey into the ginger-carrot juice until fully incorporated.
- Strain this mixture into a 9 x 13" cake pan, like the one pictured below using a fine mesh strainer lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth. (The inside of my cake pan measures 8.5" x 12.5").
- Pop the pan into the freezer. After 45 minutes, start to scrape and stir the spiced juice with a fork. Be sure to get into the corners of the pan, and squish any solidified chunks with the back of the fork. They should still be quite tender and not difficult to break up at this early stage.
- Do this every 20 minutes, being sure to stir vigorously and break up any chunks. You want the texture to be fine and light and the ice crystals small and 'crisp' rather than chunky and icy. Mine froze to the right texture after 1 hour and 45 min.
- Scoop into beautiful bowls and garnish with mint and flowers, I'm using the flowers from a bundle of arugula. How lovely! This granita will keep well. When you want to use it, pull it out of the freezer at least 30 minutes before you plan to serve it. As it gets warmer, you can shave it with a fork as you did when you first prepared it.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish in the Raw