Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blowing Hot and Cold - Green Chile Gazpacho Granita


Depending on your proclivities, this frozen soup will either slap you in the face with refreshment or slap you down with mouth burn after one spoonful. I find it true that spice heat has a cooling effect when the actual weather temperature around you has you melting into a puddle on the pavement.

This recipe is very easy, but for the best icy results, a juice extractor is required. You can also prepare this in a blender, adding a cup of ice cubes for a traditional gazpacho, but it is critical that the hot chile pepper/s you use are added last, slowly and separately. If you dare to live dangerously and toss them in together, membranes, seeds and all, don't say I didn't warn you. While it may be hot outside, there might still be hell to pay.

Green Chile Gazpacho Granita
- My own recipe


1-2 hot green or yellow chile peppers (serrano, Thai, jalapeño, or Hungarian)
2 large unwaxed cucumbers
6 medium tomatillos
1 large green bell pepper
1 large white or yellow onion
1 large clove garlic
2 generous handfuls Italian flat-leaf parsley with stems
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 large lime
1 tablespoon white or red cider vinegar
2-3 teaspoons salt, or more to taste


Prep for juice extractor:

Stem the chiles and halve them lengthwise, optionally removing inner membrane and seeds; most of the heat is held in the membrane and seeds. (Per Sra's suggestion in her comment, wearing gloves while handling the chiles will avoid unintended transfer of volatile oils to your eyes and other delicate parts if you are not careful to wash your hands after contact.) Top and tail cucumbers, then quarter them lengthwise. Husk and rinse tomatillos under cold water until they are free of their sticky residue; nick out the stems with point of knife, then cut them in half. Stem and quarter bell pepper, removing large membrane core with attached seeds. Peel and quarter onion. Peel garlic clove.

Extract juice from chiles, keeping face away from collection cup (the fumes can be powerful). Transfer chile juice to a separate cup; reserve. Extract juice from all other vegetable ingredients, pouring them into a large glass, plastic, or stainless steel bowl. Stir in olive oil, lime juice, and vinegar. Add reserved chile juice incrementally by the half-teaspoon, stirring well and tasting after each addition until you reach a heat intensity that is noticeable yet you can still discern the other ingredients. Discard any leftover chile juice. Add salt incrementally as well, tasting after each addition.

Cover bowl tightly and place in freezer. You can either freeze it solid, then let sit on the counter for about 15 minutes, before you start raking it with a metal fork into chunky crystals, or you can periodically visit your freezer at 45-minute intervals to rake and stir the crystals back into the mixture. Freezing time will depend on your freezer setting and the depth of the bowl. The juice will freeze more quickly if you transfer it to a shallow glass baking dish.

Scoop granita into bowls. Serve immediately to maintain its icy crunch or let it sit for a few minutes to become slushy. Slush, by the quirky nature of melting ice, is actually colder than hard ice.

This is my very late contribution to No Croutons Required, the monthly vegetarian soup and salad event, created by Lisa of Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. Lisa, host for this month, selected the theme of hot chile peppers. I thank dear Lisa for waiting on me. She will be publishing the round-up today. Do stop by to check out all the sizzling recipes. I have heard it on high authority that there is a very nice selection for all of us heat freaks out there. ; )


  1. Interesting soup but I don't think I am brave enough to try it.:)

  2. That is such an interesting and original recipe! I love that vibrant green. Marvelous and so refreshing.



  3. ooooooooh yum and interesting, green chile in granita, awesome, I would love to taste it :)

  4. No such thing as too hot (well, where food is concerned, anyway. . . not too sure about the weather). Love the photo!

  5. What can I say? This is sooo interesting and vibrant!

  6. What a colour! And a most interesting recipe.

    You forgot one instruction - wear gloves/scrub hands thoroughly after preparation. I've happened to put those hands on sensitive body surfaces :) without thinking and there's been hell to pay.

  7. That is one pretty green! and spicy!
    quite an interesting recipe! and an amazing picture!

    Richa @

  8. Thanks, Simply Food. It really depends on how sensitive your taste buds are. ; )

    Rosa - Thanks always. The green is bracing.

    Priya - Thanks. It's so, so cold, especially as it's melting...then the heat hits you. : D

    Ricki - Thank you! Hope things cool down in Toronto soon. Another month to go here.

    Anh - Thanks!

    Sra - Thanks. You're right. I've added your caution. It was an oversight; I never wear gloves unless I'm working w/ hellions like habanero, but still, the hands do need to be washed just in case.

    Thanks, Richa. It is a lovely bright green.