Portland is unseasonably scorching hot right now. I know this because I’ve let my dog outside to soak up sun, then let her back inside to cool off her baked little brains. Repeatedly. Here at the Powell Parich house, we’re staying cool inside. We opened our windows overnight, shut them this morning, and that, teamed up with our fairly new insulation and brand new siding, seems to be doing the trick. Still, I used the weather as an excuse to try this spinach lemon sorbet.
Spinach, lemon juice, and lemon zest. These ingredients practically burst with possibility. Just think–you could make pasta with lemon and spinach, swap out the pasta for couscous (even better in hot weather because you could heat the water in your electric tea kettle), a lemon spinach quiche or frittata, a wilted salad, or this could be the beginnings of soup.
Not this time, though. This time I made a vibrant summery sorbet with these bright yellow and green building blocks. This sorbet’s shocking hue are the first hint that it isn’t your garden variety frozen fruit treat, but don’t worry–it isn’t like eating a frozen bowl of salad. The spinach flavor takes a back seat (a nutritious, vitamin-filled back seat) to the punch of lemon, but it does provide a more interesting, complex flavor than a plain lemon sorbet.
We tried a similar sorbet in Bulgaria, though it actually tasted more of spinach. Next time I make this, I’m going to up the spinach factor. Feel free to play around with the amount of greens in this recipe–even if you can’t taste the spinach very much, eating a serving of greens while enjoying your dessert can’t be a bad thing.
Spinach Lemon Sorbet
Yield: about 8 smallish servings
1-2/3 cups water
1-2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
8 oz spinach, cleaned (remove stems only if your spinach is really adult–young stems are tender enough to include)
In a small/medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Let the mixture boil for a couple of minutes until the sugar is completely melted into the water. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool completely. If, like me, you are impatient, transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl and set it inside a larger heatproof bowl filled with ice cubes. This’ll speed things up considerably.
While the simple syrup (the sugar mixture) is cooling, blend the lemon zest, lemon juice, and spinach until very smooth. I detest my blender, so I used my food processor. There will be little green bits. If you aren’t ok with that, pour the mixture through a fine sieve.
Stir the simple syrup and lemon/spinach mixture together, then churn it in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.