How do you spell "refreshing?" ... Well, hmm. Wait a minute. This doesn't really work in print, does it? So much for the Rolaids/relief approach. Let me try again.
How about some Watermelon-Basil Sorbet, everyone?! It's refreshing. No really. Tongue tinglingly, brain freezingly, coolingly refreshing.
What I'm trying to say here is that the combo of icy watermelon and cooling basil is, in a word, sublime. Sprinkle with a pinch of Fleur de sel right before serving, and the flavors leap out even more, and possibly even do a bit of a happy dance on your tongue.
I admit, I'm probably the last person in the world to get the salt-with-watermelon thing. Seems like everyone had a dad or grandpa who used to salt big old wedges and go to town. It really kind of grossed me out. But recently, when I shrugged my "try anything once" shrug and sprinkled a hunk of watermelon with a little kosher salt? Yum! Now I'm a little obsessed with it. Sometimes greatness takes time, I guess.
So anyway, here's the recipe for this really wonderful sorbet. Try a refreshing bowlful soon. And stay cool.
Watermelon-Basil Sorbet with Fleur de Sel
Note: My apologies for lack of photos. It was part forgetfulness, part the fact that I was a scary whirlwind running around yesterday. Suffice it to say the idea of bringing in the garden hose and just spraying the kitchen down crossed my mind more than once.
- Approx. 8 cups watermelon, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons vodka
- 1 1/2 cups simple syrup
- Fleur de sel (you can totally leave the salt off. But at least shrug and try a little once, I recommend it!)
- Prepare the simple syrup. Simple syrup is made of equal parts sugar and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and then simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. It's great for drinks, and lasts for a long time in the fridge, so I always make extra. Allow to cool to room temperature before adding to the sorbet mixture.
- In a food processor or blender, puree the watermelon.
- Strain the watermelon through a sieve (to remove seeds and any remaining large chunks). You want 4 cups total strained watermelon puree for the sorbet.
- Add about a cup of the watermelon puree back into the food processor.
- Add the 1/2 cup basil, and puree until the basil chopped into little pieces.
- Pour the watermelon-basil mixture back with the rest of the watermelon puree.
- Stir in the lime juice and the vodka. If you're wondering about the inclusion of vodka, it's to help keep the sorbet from freezing to a rock-solid consistency.The sugar should help with this, too, though - so if you want to leave it out, I bet it'll be fine.
- Stir in the cooled simple syrup.
- Add the mixture to your ice cream/sorbet maker, and follow manufacturer instructions until frozen.
I took this photo AFTER I had mostly cleaned up. See what I mean? You don't want to see the disaster that was my kitchen yesterday.
- Serve immediately for a softer sorbet, or place in the freezer for a harder sorbet later on.
- When it's time to serve, sprinkle individual servings with a good pinch of Fleur de sel and garnish with a sprig of basil.