Strawberry-Basil Granita Recipe

By Brianna Nathan

Summer is officially here! Whether you love or hate the heat, I think it’s fair to say that no one wants to bake in the summer. Why turn on the oven when it’s already 100 outside? That said, my sweet tooth certainly doesn’t go away just because it’s too hot to function. The solution? Ice cold desserts, like this granita, that hits a sweet spot without heating up the house. Once you’re comfortable with the recipe, there are endless variations – including my favorite, adding a couple of tablespoons of booze (be careful not to add too much or it won’t freeze properly).


Strawberry-Basil Granita

3 pints strawberries, hulled

4-5 basil leaves

¼-1/2c simple syrup (see below)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup water

In food processor or blender, combine strawberries, basil, lemon juice and water. Blend until nearly smooth, then add simple syrup to taste (you may need more or less depending on the sweetness of your berries). Blend until smooth. Pour into a 9”x14” pan and freeze until icy around the edges. Stir the frozen edges into the middle of the granita and freeze for another 30-45 minutes, repeating this process until the granita is completely frozen (about 1½ – 2 hours total). Use the tines of a fork to scrape the granita into crystals. Scoop granita into bowls, garnish with sliced strawberries if desired, and serve. Wrap remainder tightly and freeze (will keep for about a week).

Simple syrup

In a saucepan, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.


Not up for making a frozen treat at home? Lucky for you there’s a handful of places in Sac to get delicious shaved ice, including Osaka-Ya and Local Kine.

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