Sunday, July 4, 2010

Watermelon Granita with Mascarpone Citrus Cream

I've talked before about little Roman's popularity on the streets of Rome. For one he's a baby, a cute baby, and that gets him major points. We have gained some notoriety in our neighborhood- the tall American girl carrying her 20 lb baby in a front carrier, his legs covered in super hero leg warmers. Now that it's summer and too hot, Roman sits proudly in his bright orange bugaboo stroller. As one of Roman's fans (the butcher) put it "neanche il Papa sta così bene," by which he meant "Not even the Pope has such a nice ride."

We do all our food shopping on foot, so I shop almost daily and sometimes more than once a day. It guarantees us outings, but I have to manage how to tote the baby and the groceries. So when it occurred to me that the 4th of July was upon us, I decided to do something with watermelon wondering all the while how I'd manage to get it home! Luckily we found one small enough to fit under the stroller. Then I felt grateful that in this heat I am not still carrying around a watermelon in my belly like last summer...

I've always wanted to make a granita, the shaved frozen ice italian dessert. I've also been wanting to make something with mascarpone- the extremely rich triple cream cheese used in tiramisu. I thought about all the red, white and blue desserts that people concoct for picnics and cookouts- thus the blueberries. I know technically watermelon is more pink, but it comes close enough for this expat. Happy 4th!

Watermelon granita
from the Food Network

4 cups watermelon (seeds removed)
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Puree until smooth. Pour into a shallow, wide pan and freeze for 1 hour. Rake mixture with a fork and freeze for another hour. Repeat one more time and then rake and serve in cups.

Mascarpone Citrus Cream
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
water as needed

Blend or whip all three ingredients and add water as needed to reach the consistency of greek yogurt. Serve a dollop with the granita, along with blueberries for garnish.


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