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Local Strawberry Lavender Granita Recipe & Styling by Lauren Lombardi, Photography by David Benthal

Strawberry picking is the sweetest start to summer on the North Fork and the inspiration for this month’s Farm Stand to Plate recipe. It’s the time of year when recipes focus on effortless entertaining using fresh produce. Look for the “U-pick” signs at many of our North Fork farms and make sure to stop and pick the main ingredient for this refreshingly simple granita (a.k.a. Italian ice) — locally grown strawberries. 

I spiked it with a simple syrup made with dried lavender from Lavender by the Bay in East Marion. There’s a saying that “what grows together, goes together,” and that couldn’t be more true than local berries and lavender. 

Granita is traditionally made with a puree of fresh fruit, sugar and water. What makes it different from sorbet is that it’s made by hand, using a fork during the freezing process to create a coarse and flaky texture. It’s a crunchy, frozen bite that melts deliciously in your mouth. 

This sweet ice is easy to make when entertaining a house full of guests. (And, as a bonus — the kids love it too!) 

Local Strawberry Lavender Granita

Serves 4 people

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp dried lavender
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 lbs. fresh strawberries, washed and hulled

Directions

  • In a small pot, combine water, sugar and lavender. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Simmer low for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the liquid through a mesh sieve. Let cool. 
  • In a blender or food processor, puree the fresh strawberries. Add the lemon juice and lavender simple syrup and briefly blend again. 
  • Pour in a shallow metal baking pan and place in freezer. After about 30-45 minutes, take a fork and scrape the mixture. Repeat every 30 minutes for the next 2-3 hours until the mixture develops into a light, flaky ice. 
  • Serve in chilled glasses and enjoy after dinner, between courses as a palate cleanser or add a spoonful to elevate your favorite cocktail! 
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