Oyster with Fennel, Cucumber and Pernod Granita

There is little to beat granita for refreshment on a hot day. This sophisticated version is the perfect counterpart for oysters, and the result is an ideal cool, melt in your mouth summer treat.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 4 flat medium to large oysters
  • Half a fennel bulb
  • 1 cucumber
  • Half a bunch of fresh tarragon
  • 4 tablespoons of Pernod
  • Salicornia cress for serving

Preparation:

Dice the fennel into little pieces. We like ours to measure 3mm by 3mm, as a texture guide. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Pernod over the fennel, and leave it to absorb.

Cut the cucumber in half and remove the seeds. Chop the halves into pieces, put them in a food processor, and puree them with the tarragon and the rest of the Pernod. Scoop the mixture out into a wide bowl, and put it in the freezer.

Freeze for about half an hour, or until the mixture has frozen around the edges. Be prepared to learn about your freezer at this stage – in some freezers this process will take about an hour the first time. Use a fork to draw ice from the edges into the center, stirring it all in and breaking up large chunks, until you’ve raked through all of the ice. Return the granita to the freezer, and repeat the stirring process every half hour, until all of the granita mixture is formed of ice crystals. You’ll probably have to do this 3 or 4 times, and the whole process should take about 4 hours.

When the granita’s ready, open the oysters. Cut the oyster free of the shell, and turn it over, so that the flat side is on top. Spread a teaspoon of fennel over each oyster, and scoop a spoonful of granita onto the top. Garnish with Salicornia cress, and serve.

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