Right now, farmers markets everywhere are heralding the arrival of apricot season, which comes just as warm-weather festivities start to light up, but before the sun and temperatures become unrelenting. At the height of their heyday, these fuzzy orange stone fruits are juicy with an intoxicating floral aroma that simply can't be replicated. But keep in mind that they're only around from May to July. How to shop for and cook with them, when you keep reading.
Apricots come in a slew of varieties that range in color from pale yellow to burnt orange, but when selecting apricots, always look for fruits that are plump and heavy for their size with no trace of green. They should also be fairly firm, giving only a little, and have a delicate aroma. Store them at room temperature; to ripen them further, stick them in a paper bag for a day, which will help the process somewhat.
The tart and sweet flavor profile of apricots makes them an ideal candidate for both sweet and savory applications. Here are a few ideas:
- Puree apricots in a blender until smooth; use in a farm-fresh cocktail.
- Make a white pizza with apricot, goat or mozzarella cheese, and prosciutto.
- Alternate cubes of pineapple and apricot on skewers, brush them with honey, and then toss on the grill.
- Create a fresh apricot salsa as a topper for halibut or swordfish.
- Poach apricots and serve them with walnut crisps.
- Impress guests with a stunning apricot tart.
Source: Flickr User Paul and Jill