Summer in New York

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When it’s summer time in New York, I try to find every excuse to be outside! Central Park and Bryant Park are both beautiful places to walk around and spend the day. I also love NYCRG’s backyard garden at Arte Cafe – nothing beats a chilled glass of wine outside with fresh oysters surrounded by friends and family.
Here are a few ways to celebrate summer in New York City from Time Out New York!

Getting ICED on July 4th!

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July 4th is almost here! If you happen to celebrate big with friends and family then this is a recipe that will rock their socks off. After a long day of grilling, there’s nothing better than cooling off in the heat with a little Italian Granita. Think of it as shaved ice, but BETTER.

You can make granita so easily, without the need of ice cream machines. All you’ll need is a freezer, a blender, fruit, sugar and water. Yes, just 3 ingredients! Flavors range from coffee to wine to fruit to herbs. Once you know the basic recipe, you can make pretty much any version of this Italian summer classic.

Personally, I love mixing all the seasonal fruit together to make one super flavorful and fruity granita. Specifically I like the blend of strawberries, peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots or melons combined with the citrus zest of a lemon or orange. Fresh mint is a wonderful compliment as well, but feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking.

Here’s what you will need:

1/4 cup Simple Syrup or Agave Syrup

1lb Fresh Fruit

1/4 cup water

Here’s how you do it:

1. In a blender, place your fresh fruit of choice along with either a squeeze of citrus juice or a few splashes of water. Add your simple syrup or agave syrup. The liquid is what will help the fruits puree into a smooth consistency.

2. Once pureed, our into a cooled bowl for chilling. Here you can add your fresh herbs, zest, alcohol, vanilla extract or other added flavors.

3. Place in the freezer and scrape well with a fork every 3 to 4 hours until frozen and fluffy in consistency.

When it comes to a granita, it is really about tasting as you go and checking consistency. Don’t be shy to add a bit more water if your puree is looking a bit thick, or lessening the simple syrup if the fruits are a little on the sweet side.

I hope you enjoy making some summer granitas!

-Chef K