Lisa Romerein; Valerie Aikman-Smith Photo by: Lisa Romerein; Valerie Aikman-Smith

Oysters on the Half-Shell with Grapefruit Granita

This sparkling, vodka-laced granita has a peppery kick that sets off the briny sweetness of a good West Coast oyster. Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus 3 hours of freezing time. Notes: You can make granita up to 3 days ahead. Re-rake with fork before serving. Also, if you're serving the oysters on a buffet, serve on crushed ice with the granita in a bowl alongside, also on ice.

Sunset JANUARY 2008

  • Yield: Makes about 2 cups; 36 servings


  • 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice (from 1 or 2 large grapefruit, preferably pink)
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar dissolved in 1/2 tbsp. hot water
  • 1/2 tablespoon vodka
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Rock salt or crushed ice (see Notes)
  • 3 dozen chilled small to medium oysters on the half-shell


1. Combine all ingredients except rock salt and oysters, pour into a loaf pan (to a depth of about 1 in.), and freeze 1 hour. Rake and crush mixture with the tines of a fork and freeze for another hour. Rake and crush mixture again and freeze 1 hour more.

2. Spread rock salt on a platter. Rake and crush granita a final time into fine crystals. Set oysters in place and top each with a spoonful of granita.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 12
  • Calories from fat: 25%
  • Protein: 0.8g
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 1.3g
  • Fiber: 0.0g
  • Sodium: 13mg
  • Cholesterol: 6.2mg

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Oysters on the Half-Shell with Grapefruit Granita Recipe