Apricot recipes

Apricots Are
In Season

Apricots, those vibrant orange peach-like orbs, signal the one of the first signs of summer. Right now, these small sweet fruits are popping up in farmer's markets and grocery stores all across the country. Enjoy brightly-hued and highly nutritious apricots all summer long with these innovative apricot recipes.

Apricot

Nutritious Apricots

Apricots are high in lycopene and beta-carotene making them great guardians of the heart and eyes. They also provide the benefits of fiber and are packed with vitamin A and cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Apricots can also help prevent the eye condition, macular degeneration as well as prostrate cancer.

Selecting Apricots

Apricots are in season in North America from May to August. When selecting apricots, look for fruit with a rich orange skin. Apricots that are pale or yellow are not quite ripe. The fruit should also give slightly when pressed. If you squeeze an apricot and it is hard, it was not tree-ripened and most likely will not be sweet.

Storing Apricots

Apricots should be stored in a cool, dry place and will last from three days to one week after purchase. Apricots do not need to be peeled before consumption, but always remember to wash them right before eating.

Simple Serving Ideas for Apricots

Apricots, like most fruit, can be eaten in a tasty variety of ways. Most simply, slice fresh apricots over cereal or oatmeal, mix chopped apricots into pancake mix, add diced apricots to chicken, stews and sauces, or toss fresh apricots into salads or yogurt.

 

However, apricots can also add their distinctive sweet flavor to more complex dishes. Here are a few recipes, courtesy of the California Apricot Council, showcasing apricot's versatility.

 

Apricot Recipes

 

Apricot Pasta Salad

Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients:
4 ounces fusilli (corkscrew) pasta
6 fresh apricots, halved, pitted, cut into quarters
1 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless salmon fillet, cooked, flaked
2 small zucchini, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Apricot Basil Dressing (recipe follows)

 

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and let cool. Combine pasta, apricots, salmon, zucchini, red pepper, and basil in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and serve.

 

Apricot Basil Dressing

Makes 1 cup

 

Ingredients:
2 fresh apricots, halved, pitted
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

 

Directions:
Combine apricots, white wine vinegar and sugar in a blender and whirl until blended. With blender running, slowly add vegetable oil until thick and smooth. Stir in basil and drizzle on your salad. Store extra, is there is any, in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

Apricot Pork Salad

Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients:
3/4 pound pork chops (2 small or 1 large)
6 cups torn salad greens
6 fresh apricots, halved, pitted, cut into wedges
3/4 cup walnut halves, toasted
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup vegetable oil

 

Directions:
1. Broil pork chops 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Cool slightly and cut into narrow strips.

 

2. Place greens in a salad bowl. Top with pork, apricots, and walnuts.

 

3. To make dressing, combine vinegar, sugar, and herbs in a small jar and shake well. Add oil and shake well again.

 

4. Toss 1/4 cup dressing with salad. Refrigerate remaining dressing for up to one week.

 

Apricot Bavarian

Makes 6 servings

 

Ingredients:
8 fresh apricots
1-1/2 envelopes plain gelatin
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups non-fat plain yogurt

 

Directions:
1. Drop apricots into boiling water to cover. When water returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes or until skins begin to split. Drain apricots in a colander and rinse under cold water.

 

2. Halve fruit and discard skins and pits. Puree apricots in a blender or food processor and set aside.

 

3. Combine gelatin and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until dissolved and set aside.

 

4. In a medium-sized bowl, mix sugar, apricot puree, and yogurt with a wire whisk until smooth. Mix in dissolved gelatin. Chill until firm and ready to serve.

 

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