An icy tomato granita with throwback appeal.Gather Journal Spike Magic Tomato Granita
“It’s the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something, or you can…” So read the tagline of director Spike Lee’s groundbreaking survey of one historically sweltering summer in Brooklyn. Anything icy was, understandably, a relief—kids bought icies from a street vendor, Rosie Perez dipped her head in an ice bath then was treated to an ice cube massage. Our tomato granita nods to the pizza parlor around which much of the action revolves, and to the director himself—it’s doused with throwback pantry favorite Spike® Original Magic! spice.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and fill a bowl with ice water. Cut a shallow x in the bottom of the tomatoes (opposite from stem end) and blanch in batches in boiling water for 10 seconds. Immediately transfer to the ice water and chill about a minute. Gently peel off skin using the x as a starting point.
Quarter the tomatoes and purée along with sugar in a food processor or blender. Strain into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve pressing out liquid. (Discard solids.) Stir in basil, lemon juice, and Spike. Chill at least ½ hour to allow flavors to infuse then strain out the basil.
Pour into a glass, stainless, or enameled 8 to 9-inch dish and freeze just until partially frozen and slushy, about 1 to 1½ hours. Stir, smash, and scrape with a fork breaking up any clumps. Return to the freezer, scraping a few times until granita is evenly frozen into icy flakes, about 2 hours. Scrape again just before serving.