MDF’s Icy Melon Granita

Cantaloupe Granita by Modern Day Forager


Our version of a childhood summer revival with a twist, a little bit more sophisticated and all grown up.  Chill out, cool down and make the most of your long hot days.  Using white and orange cantaloupe makes for a very fragrant and well-balanced combination.   The addition of basil and the spicy, salty, sweet sugars really liven up this recipe.


  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cantaloupe chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups white cantaloupe chunks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • curry sugar, didi’s sugars for the spicy component and for the salty and sweet component we used “martini” from go lb. salt rim-licks.
  • chiffonade of basil


  1. In a small saucepan, stir the water and sugar over low heat just until the sugar melts.  Let cool completely.
  2. In a blender, puree the cantaloupe with the syrup and lime juice.
  3. Strain puree into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve, pressing through with a wooden spoon.
  4. Transfer the puree to a shallow container and place in freezer until frozen around the edges and slushy, about 30 minutes.
  5. Using a fork, stir the granita every 20 until it is completely frozen, about 1 1/2 hours.  Just before serving, fluff granita with fork.
  6. Scoop into bowls, sprinkle with curry sugar and garnish with chiffonade of basil.

Cantaloupe Granita by Modern Day Forager

Our good friends Liz and Aaron Eckburg own a great company, go lb salt which is a local salt bar here in Arizona and boy, do they know their stuff.  We highly recommend their website, there is a wealth of information, along with a user friendly online store,  filled with everything you could possibly need, and if that wasn’t enough they offer classes as well.   Check them out at golbsalt.  We also used another favorite resource of ours for this recipe, Didi Davis’s Food Sugar Blends.  This is a great source for all things spicy, salty and sugary, and they focus on small-batch handmade productions.  Check them out at salttraders.  So many new ways to play with your food.

Cantaloupe Granita by Modern Day Forager

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Style & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Modern Day Forager


The Crazy Jane

ModernDrinks-72Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography


This cocktail is currently the most popular drink at Home Restaurant in New York City.  People love the earthy rosemary juxtaposed with fresh, fragrant apricots.  Here is our interpretation.

The Crazy Jane

1 1/2 oz rosemary-infused vodka (recipe below)

1/2 oz apricot puree (recipe below)

1/2 oz simple syrup (2:1 ratio not standard 1:1, sugar to water)

1/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Lime wedge for garnish

  1. Combine all ingredients, expect for lime wedge, in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously.
  2. Serve in a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and garnish with the lime wedge.


Apricot Puree

8 apricots, pitted and diced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons sugar

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Pass through a sieve or other straining device to remove the coarser elements.


Rosemary-Infused Vodka

2 cups vodka (we used Smirnoff)

2 bunches fresh rosemary

  1. Place the rosemary in a quart sized jar or other container.  Add vodka and seal.  Store in a cool, dry place and allow to infuse for 3 days.
  2. Strain the mixture and discard rosemary.  Use right away or you can store it in a sealed jar for up to 3 weeks.

Modern Day Forager