Apricot season is upon us and the time to enjoy them is now I write in today’s Seasonal Pantry, which you can read here. In the column, I feature a fairly formal recipe, Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Risotto, that is ideal for a special evening. It’s not at all complicated but it does take longer than most us want for a mid-week dinner. But there are many ways to enjoy apricots, from simply eating one to making apricot chutney and shrub, for which you’ll find a recipe in the column.
If you shop primarily in grocery stores, you might wonder what the fuss is about. After all, you can find apricots year-round or nearly so at major markets in Sonoma County and throughout the country. But apricots that are grown in, say, Chile, are harvested to hold up to long-distance travel, not to be at their peak of flavor. These apricots never develop the full flavor of fruit that is picked at the right moment for taste. I think we grow very weary of flavorless foods, lose interest in them, and then neither enjoy these foods or eat them very often. If you want more fruit in your life, buying out of season apricots–or any other fruit–is not the way to go. Indulge in what is in season here, now, and then move on to the next crop that ripens. Apricots are, by definition, a late spring and early summer crop. If you want to enjoy them year round, make chutney, jam, fruit leather or shrub.
Here are some of my favorite recipes from my columns’s archives.