The stalwart Eastern Mediterranean farm workers who seasonally come across to harvest the crops are not able to come. Local people are, understandably, reluctant to take the jobs on, which are tough to say the least.

Not only that, the big venue events that buy a huge proportion of our famous strawberries are not happening.

This year there is going to be a glut of strawberries. So let’s do our bit and eat as many as we can. Let’s make jam and ice cream, parfaits and jellies; pavolva, Victoria sponge and strawberry shortbread.

And if you fancy something savoury, try this mouth-watering Tuscan classic, risotto alle fragole; strawberry risotto



100g unsalted butter

2-3 tablespoons extra

virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, peeled

and finely chopped

1.25 litres vegetable

stock (see note at end)

250g Arborio rice

100ml Prosecco or dry white wine

250g Scottish strawberries (unsprayed)

100g Parmigiano reggiano

Grated zest of an unwaxed lemon and a few squeezes of juice

Flat leaf parsley

To make the risotto

First, make the stock – see note at end.

Melt half the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan.

Add the olive oil, (this stops the butter burning), and add the chopped shallots and celery.

Sauté over a low heat with the lid on until the vegetables are soft and translucent.

Raise the heat and add the rice, stirring it in the sofrito sauce until it jumps in the pan. This toasting helps break down the outer layers of the rice and helps it absorb the flavours.

Add the Prosecco or white wine, stir and allow to toast until all the alcohol has evaporated.

Warm the stock in a separate saucepan. Cook the risotto by adding a ladle full of hot stock at a time, stir well in and cook until most of the stock has been absorbed.

Keep adding stock until the rice is almost cooked but still has a bite.

Rinse and hull the berries and chop into quarters.

Add most of them to the risotto, keep some aside, and stir as they break down and form a glorious pink sauce.

Take the risotto off the heat.

Beat the grated Parmigiano and the rest of the butter in with a wooden spoon.

Add the grated lemon zest and juice.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Put the lid on the pot and let it rest for 3-4 minutes.

Serve with some scattering of chopped parsley and scatter with the last of the strawberries.

Fresh vegetable stock

Cover 1 onion, 2 sticks of celery, 1 carrot, and some parsley stalks with 1.5 litres of boiling water.

Add a teaspoon of salt, and a few black peppercorns. Simmer for 15 minutes, cool and strain.