Summer Melon with Basil-Mint Granita Recipe

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime peel
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3 small melons, halved lengthwise, seeded, each half cut into 8 wedges (about 3/4 inch wide), peeled
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves plus 8 fresh sprigs for garnish
  1. Mix sugar, chopped mint, basil, and lime peel in medium bowl. Mash with wooden spoon until herbs turn dark green, about 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice and 1 1/4 cups water. Let stand 1 hour. Strain into large bowl, pressing on solids. Transfer 1/2 cup lime syrup to small pitcher; cover and refrigerate. Pour remaining lime syrup into 13x9x2-inch metal baking dish. Place dish in freezer. Stir syrup with fork every hour until frozen, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen.)
  2. Divide melon wedges among 8 shallow soup bowls. Drizzle melon with reserved lime syrup. Scrape granita into flakes with fork. Spoon generous 1/2 cup granita atop melon in each bowl. Sprinkle with sliced mint leaves, garnish with mint sprigs, and serve.