Easy enough to whip up on the hottest days, try your hand at this healthy dessert from our COMO Shambhala cookbook.
WATERMELON, STRAWBERRY AND POMEGRANATE SALAD WITH HIBISCUS FLOWER SORBET
Heart Healthy | Raw | Gluten-Free | Vegan
This is a refreshing summery dessert to serve when watermelons are at their peak in colour and sweetness. Hibiscus flowers (also known as rosella) contain even more vitamin C than oranges. They help to improve circulation and balance blood pressure by reducing blood viscosity.
HIBISCUS FLOWER SORBET
50g/2oz (1¼ cups) dried hibiscus flowers
500g/1lb1oz (1¼ cups) strawberries, hulled
280g/10oz (scant 1 cup) agave nectar
1 large pomegranate
(or, 220ml/scant 1 cup bottled fresh
pure pomegranate juice)
1½ tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon agar agar powder
HIBISCUS FLOWER SYRUP
10g (¼ cup) dried hibiscus flowers
8 fresh organic red hibiscus flowers
100g/3½oz (⅓ cup) agave nectar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
500g/1lb1oz watermelon, rind removed
250g/9oz strawberries, hulled and halved
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
Fresh red hibiscus flowers (optional)
To make the hibiscus flower sorbet, bring 500ml (2 cups) water to the boil and add the dried flowers. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes to allow the flavours and colour to infuse. Strain through a sieve into a jug and discard the flowers.
Meanwhile, purée the hulled strawberries in a blender (you should have 500ml/2 cups of strawberry purée). Combine the strawberry purée, the hibiscus water and agave nectar in a bowl and mix well. Transfer the sieved strawberry purée to an ice-cream machine and churn until frozen. Spoon into an airtight container and freeze to firm up.
To make the pomegranate jelly, push the seeds of the pomegranate through a juice extractor and catch the juice in a jug (you will need 220ml/scant 1 cup). Combine the pomegranate juice, agave nectar and agar agar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then strain through a sieve into a 10x15cm (4x6 inch) plastic container. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Once set, tip the jelly out onto a clean board and cut into irregular wedges.
For the hibiscus flower syrup, bring 400ml/1⅔ cups water to the boil and add the dried flowers. Remove from the heat and stand for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Strain and place in a blender with the fresh hibiscus flowers and process until puréed. Add the agave nectar and lime juice and blend to combine. Strain through a fine sieve into a glass container.
To serve, cut the watermelon into triangular wedges and place 5 pieces on each of the 6 plates. Scatter the strawberries and pomegranate jelly over and around the watermelon.
Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and top with a scoop of strawberry hibiscus sorbet. Pour the hibiscus syrup over the fruit and finish with a fresh hibiscus flower.
Note: The fresh flowers lend colour and body to the syrup. If not available, add a puréed strawberry or two instead.
The Pleasures Of Eating Well, our COMO Shambhala Cookbook, is available on Amazon and at many of our hotels and resorts around the world. If you’re in Singapore, it is also available at COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, Culina, and SuperNature.