Some recipes come about when you least expect them — take this mango cucumber mint granita for instance. One evening I was making a batch of our agua de pepino for some cucumber margaritas when I got this wild idea to combine mangos, cucumbers, and mint to make a granita. A granita is what I call a classy snow cone or raspa. A granita is a perfect end to a spicy meal; it’s cool and refreshing and in this case a little fruity. In this granita I like the delicate blend of the three main ingredients. This sweet, ice cold dessert is a perfect blend on ones palate which amazingly captures the sweetness of the mango, the freshness of the cucumber, and the herbal fragrance of the mint in every spoonful. Try topping your granita with extra fruit, a light cookie, or a simple sprig of mint.
Mangos always scream summer to me and we eat them sliced, diced, baked, and even as a sorbet. I know mangos are available year round in some areas, but they don’t always have that deep tropical flavor like they do during the summer. There are several types of mangos so shop for one that is slightly soft to the touch and has a floral scent. Stay away from those with a skin which is too wrinkly.
I like that this recipe only takes about thirty minutes to make, not including the freezing time required. All you do is peel and roughly chop your ingredients, blend your ingredients, put the mixture into a glass dish, freeze it, and then use an ice cream scooper or a fork to create thick granule like ice shavings. When serving a granita you can always dress it up or down depending on the mood you want to create. For a casual affair you can serve it in a colorful or simple ramekin or if it’s a fancy schmancy affair you’re hosting try serving it in a pretty martini glass like our Jamaica Ginger Granita. The serving options are endless and the choice is yours to create.
Summer is almost over and although I am saddened to see it come to a finale, this recipe is my ode to summer along with my favorite fruit, the gorgeous and delicioso mango.
Mango Cucumber Mint Granita
Yield: Makes 4 servings
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
¼ cup lime juice
1 large cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
Pinch of salt
1 to 2 mint leaves
In a medium size saucepan combine the sugar and water. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool off. Reserve.
In a blender add the cooled simple syrup, mango, lime juice, cucumber, salt, sprig of mint and blend until smooth. Strain into an 8”x8” baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until ready to serve.
Freeze for two to three hours and gently scrape the top layer with a fork. Repeat every two hours until all of it has been scraped.
Scoop into a ramekin or martini glass, add a sprig of mint or seasonal fruit for garnish and enjoy.
Written by Veronica / Photos by Veronica