This icy, savory palate cleanser resembles a frozen gazpacho. Like all granitas, it is easy to prepare without an ice cream machine. Simply freeze the mixture in a shallow dish, stirring it occasionally as it hardens to form flaky crystals.
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4 1/2 pounds juicy, ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped
12 tarragon sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a sharp knife, make a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato. Add the tomatoes to the boiling water and blanch just until the skins begin to pull away, about 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the tomatoes to the ice water. Drain and peel the tomatoes.
Halve the tomatoes crosswise. Squeeze the seeds into a sieve set over a bowl. Press on the seeds to extract the juice; discard the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into large chunks. In a food processor, puree the tomatoes with the tomato juice, cilantro, lime juice and chile until smooth. Season with salt.
Spread the tomato mixture in a shallow 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Freeze until set around the edges, about 1 hour. Using a fork, scrape the ice crystals into the center and freeze again. Repeat the scraping every 30 minutes until the entire mixture has turned into ice flakes, about 2 hours longer. Serve the granita in glasses garnished with the tarragon sprigs.