3 cups (750ml) watermelon puree (from a 3lb watermelon)
1/2 cup (1oog) sugar
Big pinch of kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 to 2 tablespoons vodka (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons mini semisweet chocolate chips
I wouldn't dream of visiting the vast Mercato Centrale in Florence without my friend Judy Witts, known throughout town as the Divina Cucina. With Judy as my guide, butchers and cheese merchants greet us like given-up-for-lost family members; and everywhere we turn, another oversize platter appears, heaped with Tuscan delights: sheep's milk pecorino, candied fruits spiced with mustard seeds, fresh raspberries dotted with syrupy balsamic vinegar, and juicy tripe sandwiches (which I haven't yet built up the courage to try). And because we're in Italy, it all ends with shots of grappa taken straight from little glass vials, obbligatorio after all that sampling.
This sorbetto is adapted from Judy's recipe. One of her favorite parts is the little chocolate "seeds" it contains. Because watermelons have a lot of water, take the sorbetto out of the freezer long enough ahead of serving to make it scoopable, 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a small, nonreactive saucepan, heat 1/2 cup (125ml) of the watermelon puree with the sugar and salt, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups (625ml) watermelon puree. Mix in the lime juice and vodka, if using
- Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker accoding the manufacturer's instructions. During the last minute of churning, add the chocolate chips.
Variation: This sorbetto makes excellent Watermelon Popsicles. Simply pour the just-churned mixture into plastic popsicle molds and freeze until firm.