Tu B’Shevat Recipes and some Trees

Here are a selection of mouth watering savoury and sweet recipes using the fruits and grains of the seven species, traditionally eaten on Tu B’Shevat, interspersed with photos of trees from the English landscape taken by Libby Hipkins. For other ideas, click here for a Biblical Hallah recipe using the seven species for Tu B’Shevat and for Claudia Roden’s Bazargan recipe which includes pomegranate molasses.

The seven species are: wheat and barley, pomegranate, fig, fruit of the vine, olive (oil) and (date) honey.

Trees in the snow, Wisley Gardens (c) Libby Hipkins 2012

Trees in the snow, Wisley Gardens (c) Libby Hipkins 2012

Barley Soup

Submitted by Claudia Camhi

Another of my mother-in-law’s recipe’s that works so well for a snowy Tu B’Shevat

  • 150 grams of pearl barley
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 3 level tablespoons of plain flour
  • 350 ml of milk (semi or full fat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 100 ml of single cream

Rinse the barley in running water.

Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.

Place in a large pan and cover with boiling water and simmer until the barley is soft. This can take over an hour.

Add the stock cubes and seasoning.

Make a béchamel sauce by:

  • Melting the butter in a small pot and then adding the flour.
  • Use a low to mid flame.
  • Whisk until it becomes golden (3 min approx.)
  • Slowly add some milk and whisk until it is smoothly blended in.
  • Repeat this until all the milk has been used up.
  • Add the nutmeg and seasoning to taste.

Once the barley is ready dissolve the béchamel into the barley soup. This will thicken it up and make it creamy.

Serve in small bowls with a few lemon juice drops, a dash of cream and freshly ground pepper.

Tree in Kew Gardens (c) Libby Hipkins 2013

Tree in Kew Gardens (c) Libby Hipkins 2013

Persian Aubergines

Submitted by Claudia Camhi

A lovely and original vegetarian starter or a side for a buffet created by my friend Layli.

  • 4 aubergines with skin 
  • Plenty of olive oil, sea salt and pepper 
  • A large onion 
  • A handful of pine nuts 
  • Grains of 1/2 a pomegranate fruit

For the sauce:

  • Mix a pot of Greek yogurt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • One crushed garlic clove
  • 1/8 tsp of ground saffron

Slice the aubergines lengthwise into 8 wedges (keep skin on).
Toss aubergines in plenty of olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
Roast well until very tender and browned at 200 C approx 50 min.
Meanwhile chop and stir fry a large onion until it is tender and add salt and pepper to taste and a handful of pine nuts.
Place the roasted aubergines on a serving plate and add the onions and pine nuts on top.
Sprinkle on them the grains of 1/2 a pomegranate fruit.

For the sauce:
Mix a pot of Greek yogurt with the juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper, a crushed garlic clove and a a little of ground saffron. Mix well and allow to rest in the fridge for 1/2 an hour.
The aubergines with yogurt mix can be served with flat bread or rice.

Redwood tree (c) Libby Hipkins 2012

Redwood tree (c) Libby Hipkins 2012

Orange-Carrot Spice Muffins (from Susan Reimer’s Muffins Fast and Fantastic)

Submitted by Caroline Ingram

Makes 12 muffins

  • 280g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 85g white granulated sugar
  • Finely grated rind of 1 large orange
  • 180ml orange juice from the orange (can make up the remainder with water)
  • 100g grated carrot
  • 90ml vegetable oil
  • 60g raisins (optional)


  • 3 tablespoons light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 60g chopped walnuts or pecans

Prepare your muffin tray. Preheat oven 190 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Stir in sugar, grated orange rind, juice plus water, carrot and oil.

Pour all of the liquid ingredients into the dry mixture. Stir till just incorporated, adding dried fruit towards the end.

Spoon into the tin. Combine topping and spoon over the tops. Bake for 20 minutes until the tops spring back when pressed gently.

Clapham Common (c) Libby Hipkins 2012

Clapham Common (c) Libby Hipkins 2012

Wine and Spice Cake

Submitted by Lynne Sidkin

  • 1lb golden syrup
  • 10fl oz cold water
  • 7oz granulated sugar
  • 8fl oz sunflower oil (For Tu B’Shvat use Olivio)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1lb s/r flour
  • 1 level teasp each of ground ginger, mixed sweet spice and cinnamon
  • 1 level teasp baking powder
  • 1 level teasp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 teasp Kiddush wine

Preheat oven to 180 deg C (fan oven)

Lightly grease and line 2 x 2lb loaf tins

Heat the syrup, water, sugar and oil over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and then beat in the syrup mixture.

Add all the dry ingredients, plus the bicarb of soda which has been dissolved in the wine.

Beat until smooth.

Pour into the two tins (about two-thirds full) and bang on surface to remove air.

You should have enough mixture over to make about 10 fairy cakes!

Place tins in oven and immediately turn down heat to 140 deg C.

Bake for approx 50 minutes until a rich brown.

Apple sapling (c) Libby Hipkins 2013

Apple sapling (c) Libby Hipkins 2013

Banana & Raisin Loaf

Submitted by Alison Kelin

Makes 1 full-sized loaf or 2 small loaves
Preheat the oven to 350.

In one bowl, combine:

  • 3 ¼ ozs butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 or 3 very ripe bananas
  • 5 ½ ozs sugar

Use a potato masher, fork, or spoon to squish the banana and mix the ingredients together. It is alright for there to be small (1 centimetre) chunks of banana in the batter, but you want most of the banana to be reduced to mush.

In another bowl, combine:

  • 5 ½ ozs self raising flour
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • ½  teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼  teaspoon baking powder
  • ½  teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until the ingredients are blended together.  Then add 2 ozs raisins.

If you like, stir in additional ingredients here in addition to or instead of the raisins, such as chopped walnuts or pecans, dried cherries, cranberries or apricots, or chocolate chips. A handful (about 2 ozs) is about right.

Pour the mixture into greased baking tins and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Small loaves take around 30 minutes; a normal-sized loaf takes around 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven. This loaf is great warm, but it is excellent cold too.

After they have cooled for 5 or 10 minutes the loaves can be removed from the pan to cool. Once they are cool they can be individually wrapped and frozen.

Iced Pomegranate Grains

Submitted by Claudia Camhi

I learned this delicious way to use the pomegranate whilst strolling around a little town in Israel called Kyriat Tivon. The hedges between houses were in fact pomegranate bushes and it was beautiful to see the ripe fruit hanging from the branches. It was not frowned upon to take a fruit to eat from any hedge and carry on walking.

  • 2- 3 pomegranates

Cut the fruit in horizontal halves.

Whilst holding the pomegranate facing over a bowl, beat each half on the outside (skin) using a wooden spoon. This should allow the seeds to come off without having to go through the painstaking task of fishing for each grain, squeezing them in the process and getting your fingers stained for days!

Place the grains in a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer for a few hours.

Eat these natural mini ice fruit lollies on their own, over ice cream in drinks or sprinkled over other fruits (melons are a good combination).

Wandsworth Park (c) Libby Hipkins 2013

Wandsworth Park (c) Libby Hipkins 2013


3 thoughts on “Tu B’Shevat Recipes and some Trees

  1. Pingback: “WimShul Cooks” bakes Tu B’Shevat « Wimshul Cooks

  2. Pingback: Claudia Camhi in the headlines | Wimshul Cooks

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