Oysters on the Half-Shell with Grapefruit Granita

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Yield: about 2 cups; 36 servings

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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.

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.

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.

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