Granita all’Anguria e Menta. There are only so many times you can serve iced, sliced watermelon to your guests during high summer in Sardinia. It’s all anybody really wants to eat, but it does become a bit monotonous. At this time of year, the melons are at their best, and your cooking is at its worst; by that I mean that dragging yourself damply into the kitchen to do anything more involved than slicing a fruit is painstaking. This granita is as refreshing (if not more so) and delicious as a chilled slice of watermelon, and only a little more effort. I like it very sharp so add lots of lemon but depending on the sweetness of your melon – and your palate – you may want to adjust.
Time: 15 minutes, plus 7 hours chilling
Photography: Matt Russell
Styling: Tamara Vos
150 g (5¼ oz/¾ cup) caster sugar
4 sprigs of mint, washed and patted dry
1 medium watermelon, plus
extra slices to serve
juice of 4 lemons
In a small saucepan, bring 200 ml (6¾ oz/¾ cup) water and the sugar to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until syrupy. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Add 3 of the 4 mint sprigs, stir and leave to infuse. Strain when cool.
In a blender, blitz the watermelon flesh with the plucked leaves from the remaining mint sprig and strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Add the watermelon juice to the strained sugar syrup along with the lemon juice to the watermelon, tasting as you go.
Pour into a shallow container and put in the freezer. Mash it up with a fork every time you think of it. Allow at least 7 hours (depending on your freezer) before it is frozen. Serve in dainty glasses with a slice of fresh melon on the side.
If you’re after a Sardinian summer, Letitia Clark’s Bitter Honey will give you it. It’s the summer holiday we spent all of 2020 dreaming of and you’ll want a copy on your shelf. Published by Hardie Grant, £26. Photography © Matt Russell.