July 1, 2010


Cucumber Mint Granita

Cucumber Mint Granita

I have mentioned the zucchini I’m getting from my garden, but this week the main produce item is cucumbers.  I’m not much of a gardener and have only done it the past couple of years.  Last year I planted about six cucumber plants.  They were large burpless cucumbers and we had them coming out our ears.  So this year I only planted three cucumber plants, and they were the small pickling cucumber variety.  I thought that would be just right for us.  Well, the plants took off, and I still have cucumbers coming out my ears!  Next year I think we will have one cucumber plant.  I really need to go for more variety in my garden, but since I’m a beginner, I like having just a few things that I know will do well.

This granita was born out of the need to find some way to use these cucumbers.  Of course, I know what your thinking—make pickles!  We are really not that fond of pickles.  I chose pickling cucumbers because they are small and have nice edible skin.  I have thought about making pickles to give as gifts, but then I have to get into canning.  For now, I’m giving away cucumbers, eating cucumbers, and making this granita.  I originally called it a sorbet because I made it in my new ice cream maker.  But in the end, it was more like a granita.  I forgot to take pictures when I first made it, and once you freeze what’s left, it definitely becomes a granita.  It freezes together pretty solidly and has to be broken up or shaved.

I’ll admit that the kids weren’t too fond of it.   They didn’t say it was bad, it was just weird.  You have to prepare yourself for that fact that it is not a fruity or creamy dessert.  It will taste like cucumbers.  However, if you like cucumbers and mint, I think you will enjoy this.  If you don’t like mint, you could try substituting another herb such as fresh dill.

Cucumber Mint Granita

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until the cucumbers are pureed.  Turn on your ice cream maker and add the mixture.  Mine only took about 10 – 15 minutes.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour it into a large flat container (a 9 x 13 inch pan works well)  and freeze.  About every 30 minutes stir and/or scrape the mixture to break it up.  You can use a fork to “shave” it. 

View Printable Recipe

More Cucumber Ideas

If you are looking for more cucumber recipes, last year I made cucumber lemonade, and this week Shirley posted a cucumber chickpea bruschetta.  Do you have any favorite cucumber recipes?

This post is linked to some great food carnivals:

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I love making lemonade with cucumbers! I have a recipe posted on my blog which is basically your lemonade, but with dill added as well as cucumber. It's so good! Very different, but if you like savory, you'll enjoy it. I am hoping to get some good cucumbers out of my garden this year. Got a bit of a late start, so we'll see how it turns out.
This granita looks super refreshing, Linda. I've said I don't like mint in anything except ice cream (and candy), but this is close enough to ice cream. Cooling on a hot summer day for sure. Have you had cucumber sandwiches yet? In lean times, Mr. GFE and I used to eat cucumber sandwiches. No meat as that cost too much. Just cucumber on bread with perhaps a little mayo. :-) We still think back fondly to those days and I occasionally use thin slices of cucumbers on sandwiches instead of lettuce, although I admit I haven't had a sandwich that was just cucumber slices in a very long time.

Elana had a great, easy cucumber salad recipe on her blog the other day. I make something similar using balsamic vinegar, vs apple cider vinegar. And, I love it.

I also find that if I just slice a cucumber and put it in a bowl on the counter (with a serving fork) for family to eat as they cruise by, it quickly disappears. You might try that. ;-)

Thanks for the shout out, dear. Have a great 4th!

This sounds super-refreshing. I'd love it. Another cucumber idea, if you like Asian cuisine, is to cut it into slices (about 5-6 of your little cucumbers), and toss it with 1/4 c chopped, soaked wakame (it's a type of seaweed - just soak it for 10 minutes in warm water), a shredded carrot, 3 T GF soy sauce, and 1 T rice vinegar. Let marinate for 10-15 minutes in the fridge. It's super tasty. Not my idea - I got it out of Saveur magazine!
Shirley ~ I like to eat peanut butter cucumber sandwiches. I have a picture in my cucumber lemonade post. I've eaten them since childhood and still enjoy them, though I often skip the bread and just have cucumbers and peanut butter.

I'll take a look at Elana's recipe, and yes, I do put sliced cucumbers out. We like them with a little salt sprinkled on.

Alta ~ We're not big Asian food fans, but the recipe sounds interesting. Thanks!
Your cucumber granita looks so tasty!!

This looks so refreshing, perfect for a hot summery weekend like this one!
I've never heard of granita before, but this looks really light and refreshing. It would be awesome for those of us hitting 3 digit temperatures and pretty serious humidity...! :)

~Aubree Cherie
I was given a recipe this summer for a refrigerator pickle recipe. You don't have to can it(the process). You just mix up the ingredients and put the cucumbers in. Let me know if you're interested.

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