Here's something to do with all those delicious strawberries which can be found right now. Especially those at the bottom of the basket, which aren't quite perfect enough for eating out of hand. This recipe couldn't be easer, and nothing is more refreshing on a hot June day.
Strawberry Granita - serves 2-4
3 quarts strawberries, lightly rinsed and hulled
Tiny pink of salt
6-8 large basil leaves, bruised with the back of a knife
Place the strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle a little sugar over - about 1/2 of a cup - just enough to lightly coat all of the berries. Allow to sit for about an hour or so at room temperature. Cover the bowl with a plate if you have an ant or fruit fly problem. Drain off any juice - you should have about a cup of juice. If you don't, add enough water to make one cup of liquid. Place the liquid in a saucepan and add 1/2 cup of sugar and the pinch of salt. Bring to a boil so that the sugar dissolves, then turn off the heat, put the basil into the liquid and cover. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, then remove and discard the basil. Pour the liquid over the strawberries and mash them with a potato masher, the blend with a stick blender (or put them in a regular blender). Pour through a fine mesh strainer to get the seeds out. Pour the strained liquid into a shallow baking dish and place in the freezer. After about half an hour, stir the nearly frozen liquid. When the liquid is frozen, remove the dish and allow the granita to "ripen" for about 4-5 minutes, then scrape the entire surface with a fork, removing airy shreds of the frozen ice. Serve with cookies or as is for dessert or snack on a hot day. Husband ate three servings after dinner last night.