Think of this as an icy and refreshing summer salad to serve in a coupe with a spoon. Or, add it to a composed dish with burrata and Spanish jam or prosciutto. Feel free to use cherry tomatoes or Sweet 100’s. These make a very sweet and flavorful gazpacho and skins are not a problem, since we are straining the soup anyway. —Alice Medrich
about 3 cups
(16 ounces/450 grams) flavorful tomatoes
a small (green, red, orange or yellow) bell pepper (85 grams/3 ounces)
a Persian cucumber (85 grams/3 ounces) or a 3-ounce chunk of a larger type
large garlic clove
a medium Vidalia onion (55 grams/2 ounces) or other sweet onion
extra virgin olive oil
sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
Put all of the ingredients in the blender or food processor. Process until the mixture is as liquefied as possible. Strain with medium fine strainer, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible—this is mostly to remove any bits of tomato skin, which are annoying on the tongue. Taste and adjust the flavor with a little more salt and or vinegar, as necessary. Add pinches of sugar if tomatoes are not sweet and flavorful, or if you used regular red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar.
Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish (such as 9 x 13). Cover the dish and put it in the freezer until the mixture has begun to form ice crystals—45 minutes or longer, depending on the size of the dish. Mix with a fork and spread the mixture out again. Return the dish to the freezer for another 30 minutes or so until mostly frozen. Stir and scrape to form shards and crystals. Return to the freezer. When completely frozen, scrape and toss the granita one more time. Keep frozen until serving.
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).