Strawberry Granita with Sweet Pesto

Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson pairs a subtly tangy berry granita with honey-sweetened pesto in this refreshing summer dessert. Choose the sweetest, juiciest berries for the most flavorful granita.

Strawberry Granita with Sweet Pesto
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 20 mins


  • 1 1/2 pound fresh strawberries, hulled

  • 1/3 cup simple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons white verjus or fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves

  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons raw honey

  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Whipped cream, for serving


  1. Combine strawberries, simple syrup, verjus, and salt in a blender. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a 13- x 9-inch freezer-safe baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to freezer, and freeze 4 hours, scraping with a fork every 40 minutes to create small ice crystals.

  2. While granita freezes, place basil, mint, grapeseed oil, pine nuts, olive oil, and honey in a food processor. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean pod into food processor; discard pod. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes.

  3. To serve, spoon granita into bowls, and top with whipped cream and sweet pesto.

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