Watermelon is always a hit during the summer months, but there are times when I wind up with a sub-par watermelon, or we get halfway through a big one and run out of interest in eating it by the wedge. Fortunately watermelon is pretty versatile – its high water content means it purees beautifully, easily turning it into a great summer frosty or Popsicle, and a wonderfully refreshing sorbet. You don’t even need an ice cream machine.
This icy treat is dairy-free, low in calories, and gussied up with fresh herbs – leave them out if you want a plain watermelon sorbet, but they add an intriguing flavour if you’re serving it to grown-ups on the patio, for dessert or as a palate cleanser between dinner courses. Or for a fancy summer drink, put a small scoop into the bottom of a tall stemmed glass and top with Prosecco.
If you do have an ice cream maker, freeze the watermelon mixture according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Wicked Watermelon Sorbet
adapted from watermelon.org
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 sprigs Thai basil (optional)
2 sprigs mint (optional)
6 cups seedless watermelon
In small saucepan set over medium high heat, whisk together the sugar and water and heat until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add basil and mint (if you’re using it) and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes or up to 2 days. Pour syrup through a fine sieve into a bowl.
In blender or food processor, combine watermelon with basil syrup and process until smooth. Pour into a baking dish and freeze, whisking occasionally, until semi-firm, about 4 hours. Scoop into food processor and blend in batches, pulsing until smooth. Scoop processed sorbet into a container, cover and return to freezer for at least 24 hours. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before scooping into chilled bowls.
Per serving: about 80 cal, 0 g pro, 0 g fat, 23 g carb, 1 g fibre, 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium. %RDI: 2% calcium, 2% iron, 8% vit A, 10% vit C
Photo credit: watermelon.org