Fresh apricots have a mild, sweet aroma and are fabulous grilled, sautéed, poached, baked, broiled or glazed. You can use them interchangeably in a variety of recipes that call for other stone fruit (fruit with flesh enclosing a stone, or pit) such as peaches, nectarines and plums. Although fresh apricots are available in late spring and early summer, canned and dried apricots are available year-round. Dried apricots are easily reconstituted, and their flavor is deeper, sweeter and more intense.
Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy apricots:
Eat them out of hand or add to a fruit salad.
Chop them and generously garnish ice cream, frozen yogurt or any favorite non-dairy alternative.
Chop or slice and add them to hot or cold cereal.
Add them to smoothies and cold fruit soups.
Make your kids happy with Apricot Graham Snackers.
Marinate, skewer, grill and serve them. (If desired, baste while grilling with flavorful vinaigrette)
Use fresh or dried apricots in pancakes, waffles, muffins such as gluten- and-grain-free Banana Apricot Muffins, and quick breads such as Apricot Bread. Chop fresh apricots and use as a topping along with Greek yogurt, sour cream or non-dairy alternative.
Serve Apricot Kugel (made with apricot preserves) for brunch.
Mash fresh apricots with brown sugar or honey and a pinch of spice such as nutmeg, cardamom or cinnamon. Spread over biscuits, toast, French toast, scones and muffins.
Use chopped fresh or dried apricots in salsa recipes to serve with grilled meats, fish, pork, tempeh or tofu.
Spicy Apricot Chutney is versatile and delicious. Use it on grilled meats, vegetables, tempeh or tofu. Or spread it over toast with cream cheese or butter.
Add apricots to grain salads, legume salads and leafy green salads such as Apricot and Feta Green Salad.
Easy-to-make Ginger Apricot Bars are made from oats, dried apricots, cashew butter and ginger.
Fruit-sweetened apricot jam combines with white wine and tamari to make this unique Apricot and Tamari Grilling Marinade. Serve with chicken, pork, tofu, tempeh or vegetables like eggplant, summer squash, and thick slices of onions.
When shopping, look for fresh apricots in season only. They will range in color from pinkish-red to orange. The fruit will be only slightly soft when ripe, but remember, apricots are not juicy like other stone fruits. For the best flavor, store at room temperature.
Are you an apricot fan? Got a tip or a good recipe? Let me know.