Monday, July 9, 2012

Ten Quick smart Things to Do With Strawberries: Day Six


Did you know that strawberries and sesame are divine together?

To find out, serve a bowl of ripe strawberries layered with chopped halvah (as much or as little as you like) and topped with unsweetened whipped cream and more halvah.

That’s the recipe. Really, that is all there is to it. 

I’m not even taking a photo. You know what strawberries and cream look like so just imagine it laced with bits of yummy, sweet, rich, sesame halvah. Alternatively, you can fold the halvah into the cream to make halvah whipped cream, and then slather the berries with it. Either way: delish!

There is only one problem with this recipe (not counting the possibility that you might actually dislike halvah, in which can you can skip to the last paragraph):

You have to go out of your way to find superb sesame halvah choices here in the US. The ubiquitous American-made halvah found in supermarkets, gourmet shops, and delis is disappointing.  I hope no one judges all halvah by that one.  Meanwhile, I have been tweeting and emailing with David Lebovitz, @davidlebovitz) during his Israeli trip last week and drooling over his reports of great halvah (and hummus etc.).  And I’ve been remembering some stunning Lebanese (or was it Turkish?) halvah—with rose water and pistachios— that I tasted here, in a local Palestinian restaurant a few years ago.

So yes, even in Berkeley, one has to out of their way for good halvah. Having just written that, I realized that I regularly go out of my way for special ingredients, so why not spend an hour or two looking for halvah? I’ll bring home everything I can find within a reasonable radius and invite a couple halvah lovers in to taste. Then I’ll take a photo…

Meanwhile, back to strawberries and cream:  If you really hate halvah, or if you can’t find good halvah, or if you need instant gratification while looking for some good halvah, you can substitute crushed peanut brittle, almond brittle, or any kind of toffee with nuts, for the halvah. I didn’t say this would be the same as using halvah (not at all) but it will produce a very easy crowd pleaser: what’s not to love about crunchy, nutty, sweet, and buttery, bits of crushed toffee with berries and cream? I normally make my own caramelized nuts for this, but buying brittle or toffee while shopping for the berries and cream is quicker and very smart indeed.

For more ideas for strawberries, see recent and upcoming posts and my new book, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts (Artisan 2012) by Alice Medrich 


  1. Now I wish I made a care package of halvah and sent it to you!

  2. Me too! I was clearly not hinting hard enough! But now I really am curious about what's nearby. I may have to eat some of my words, (as well as some Lebanese and Turkish halvah)!