I made aliyah 11 years ago and it took me a long time to get used to which fruit and vegetables are available at different times of the year.

On one occasion, I asked in a store for half a watermelon in October. The guy just laughed at me….. ‘Nigmar’!

I’m a big believer in eating food in season and therefore it was a steep learning curve finding out that my mango and passion fruit dessert could only be made in the summer while strawberry pavlova is a winter delight.

In the UK, we could simply buy any fruit we wanted, any time of year
at a price, and much of it was tasteless!

Now I look forward to the seasons and the new crops that arrive. I particularly miss grapes in the winter, but relish the first time I can buy them and say ‘shehechiyanu’.

Strawberries are at their absolute peak now, and at their cheapest.

Here are my favorite recipes with my favorite winter fruit.

Salmon, Strawberry and Fennel salad

A delicious healthy starter – or even a main dish

Serves 4
Preparation time 15 minutes


200g smoked salmon
1 bulb fennel
1 handful rocket leaves
200g strawberries

Dressing Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil
2tablespoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Black pepper


In a screw top jar, shake up the dressing ingredients together.
Slice the fennel into wafer-thin strips.
Next, quarter the strawberries,
Arrange the smoked salmon in strips on a large platter.
Scatter over the other ingredients.
Pour over the dressing.
Finish with a few grinds of black pepper.

Strawberry Labneh Parfait

This simple dessert looks spectacular and is so simple to make

Preparation time 20 minutes
Serves 4

400g Labneh, or Greek yoghurt
400g strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons rosewater
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

Slice the strawberries and put them in a bowl with rosewater and sugar for about an hour.
In 4 wine glasses, spoon a quarter of the yoghurt in each.
Add the strawberries and drizzle with honey.
Keep layering yoghurt and strawberries until the mixture is finished.
Sprinkle the top with pistachios and chill in the fridge.

Strawberry and Cinnamon Granola Bars

I make these as a healthy treat when I have over-bought strawberries, and they are not looking their best in my fridge.

Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 25 minutes
Makes 10 bars


300g strawberries
Juice of half lemon
300g whole wheat flour
175g golden sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons Quaker oats
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
150g butter or margarine


Heat the oven to 180 and line a 22cm square tin with parchment.
Place the strawberries in a sieve over a bowl and pour over lemon juiceand allow any liquid to drip away.
In a food processor, blitz the flour sugar and butter together until crumbly.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and pulse until mixed.
Drain the strawberries and pour into the lined tin.
Cover with the granola mixture and press down with a fork.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Once it has cooled, cut into bars.


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Janine Levy

Janine Levy was born and schooled in Leeds, UK. She studied to be a Home Economics teacher in Manchester and taught Home  Economics in High schools. She and her husband Arran lived in Manchest...

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