Apricots

Okay, so technically there is only one way to eat an apricot (we’re presuming you all use your mouths, too), but there are many delectable ways to make that suspenseful moment between uneaten and eaten intensely more satisfying. Of course, it’s all about the preparation, and if you weren’t already aware, apricots are culinary masters, making them a most welcome seasonal fruit to experiment with. Here are our nine favorite ways to use apricots.

1. Salsa: Dips are essential to warmer weather, and salsa is no exception. Make your own from scratch and add a few fresh chopped apricots for a tangy sweetness. Or simply add them to your favorite store-bought brand to liven up the dip.

2. Curry: Apricots are often the base of curry dishes. They make a lovely tart sauce that holds spice and seasoning exceptionally well. Use 3 cups chopped fresh apricots, juice of 1 lemon, 1 cup water, 2 teaspoons curry powder, salt and pepper to taste (add cayenne if you like heat). Simmer over low heat until fruit is soft (about ten minutes). Braise over tempeh and bake 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Or stir in chickpeas and veggies to the simmer sauce cooking another 20 minutes and serve over rice.

3. Chutney: Chutneys are a staple side dish to Indian food and also make an excellent substitute for ketchup on veggie burgers. Try this easy recipe with your ‘cots.

4. Pasta: Our publisher Laura Klein came up with this delicious apricot and peach pesto pasta. Omit the cheese if you’re vegan (and garlic if you’re a vampire), and you still have a most lovely springtime pasta dish.

5. Pilaf: Add to your favorite grain (barley is wonderful), toss in some chopped pistachio, parsley and lemon, and you’ve got an aromatic and tangy side dish.

6. Dry your own: Those chewy, tangy dried apricots are even more delicious when you’ve dehydrated them yourself. Toss them into trail mixes, oatmeal, cereal and baked goods.

7. Leather: Puree up your harvest (minus the pits), add juice of one lemon and dehydrate for 8 hours or until done for a delicious and healthy snack.

8. Preserves: Nothing says summer like homemade fruit preserves. ‘Nuff said.

9. Baking: There are simply too many ways to bake with apricots to pick just a few: breads, cookies, cupcakes, cobbler, compote, pies… you name it, apricots will simply make it better.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Little Blue Hen