In celebration of another day off, and therefore having time to cook, I made dinner and dessert. Since dinner was pasta and salad, I wanted something light for dessert and this recipe seemed like a great choice. I’m still trying to take advantage of summer berries while they are in season and on sale. I just can’t get enough berries! This is a great summer dessert recipe.

This recipe is super easy and very tasty. It definitely has a strong citrus note to it but the berry flavor comes through well too – it is a nice blend of flavors. I made a half batch myself, but the original recipe is below. I didn’t really make any changes but I did find that it took me two oranges to get 1/2 cup of orange juice (the website says you can get 1 cup from two oranges). I think they must be using a juice extractor or something, but I just used my hands.

Fresh Berry Granita
Serves 6-8

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¾ cup cold water
½ cup agave nectar or honey
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp. orange zest
1 pkg. (16 oz.) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 pkgs. (6 oz. each) fresh raspberries
additional berries or mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

In a blender, combine the orange juice, water, agave nectar, sugar, zest and about half the strawberries and half the raspberries. Pulse, and then puree the mixture until almost smooth. Add the remaining berries and puree until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the sweetness with additional agave nectar if needed.

Pour the mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch nonstick metal baking pan. Place the pan in the freezer insuring the pan remains level. Freeze until the edges become icy and the center is slushy, about 1 hour. Using a fork, stir the icy edges into the middle of the pan, repeating this step every 30 minutes, until the granita becomes solid, about 3 hours.

Using a fork, scrape the granita down the length of the pan, forming flaky ice crystals. Cover tightly and freeze. (Can be prepared a day ahead. Keep frozen.) Scrape granita into bowls. Garnish and serve immediately.

Source: Whole Foods