Bread and Butter Granita 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; ice sculptures by Ice Lab Ice Sculptures

Jul 16, 2014

This savory granita is made from a brine for bread and butter pickles. Its vinegar and spice are perfect foils for a mignonette-like topping for oysters on the half shell or sliced fresh tomatoes drizzled with olive oil.

Plastic food storage containers with lids work well for freezing granitas; you can also use nonreactive metal containers such as shallow baking pans. Choose the correct size: You don’t want the liquid to be more than 1 inch deep, or the granita will take much longer to freeze.

Make Ahead: Granita is at its best the day you make it, but it can be made up to a week in advance. This needs at least 3 hours' freezing time. Fluff/scrape with a fork before serving.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes about 2 cups

  • 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, red onion and salt in a blender; puree on high speed for 1 minute.

Strain the liquid into a shallow container through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois, using the back of a spoon to press all of the liquid out. Discard the solids. Cover and freeze for about 1 hour, until slushy around the edges. Stir with a fork, then return to the freezer and repeat the stirring every 30 minutes for the next 2 hours or so to create texture/crystals.

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Recipe Source

From food writer and former chef and David Hagedorn.

Tested by David Hagedorn.

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