Beer Sheva finally has a farmer’s market.
We’ve always had a shuk – the traditional produce market overflowing with vegetables and fruits of the season. But the farmer’s market features local produce, gourmet baked goods and chocolate, artisanal cheese, beer and wine, ice cream, nuts and (of course!) pickles.
At one of the tables I found juicy, fresh-picked tangerines long after the official citrus season was over. A “mom and pop” bakery had a tasty assortment of biscotti-type cookies made with whole grains, nuts and seeds. The chocolate bars, though expensive, were hard to pass up.
My biggest motivation for returning to the market every Friday morning is the strawberries. Locally grown in hanging planters, using bio-insects in place of pesticides, these are some of the tastiest berries I’ve eaten. And they’re still growing several months after nearly all other Israeli-grown strawberries are gone from the market.
After enjoying strawberries in our morning granola, in fruit salads and just plain as dessert or a snack, I decided to try Strawberry Frozen Yogurt. I adapted a recipe that called for whole-milk yogurt, and substituted “Greek-style” 3% fat yogurt instead. Deliciously refreshing, with the wonderfully bright taste of fresh strawberries!
Meanwhile, apricots are now in season. There seems to be an abundant crop this year, and they’re big, juicy and delicious. Knowing that their season is very short, Apricot Sorbet is next on my agenda.
Both of these frozen desserts would be a light and refreshing way to finish 
your holiday meal on Shavuot.
Chag Sameach and B’teavon!
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
1 pound (500 gm) fresh strawberries
½ cup sugar
1 cup plain Greek-style low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Wash the strawberries and slice them. Place them in a bowl with the sugar and mix well. Cover and let sit at room temperature for an hour, stirring occasionally.
Put the strawberries, their liquid, the yogurt and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth. (Some pieces are fine.)
Refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour and then freeze in an ice cream maker.
Makes about 1 quart (1 liter)
Apricot Sorbet
2 pounds (1 kilo) fresh ripe apricots
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 drops pure almond extract or 2 teaspoons Amaretto liqueur
Pit the apricots and cut each into 4-6 pieces, depending on their size. Cook the apricots and the water for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Stir in the sugar and let cool to room temperature.
Puree the mixture in a food processor and add the extract or liqueur. Chill the mixture until it’s very cold and freeze it in an ice cream machine.
Makes about 1 quart (1 liter)
* Frozen desserts, especially the lower-fat ones, tend to become quite solid when they’re stored in the freezer. Let them sit out for a short time before serving, and for best flavor, don’t store them for more than a week or two.

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