Apricot season is short-lived, and that’s why you need to jump at the chance to buy the sweet and tart fruit now. While many consumers enjoy dried apricot, what they don’t realize is that the fresh fruit also works beautifully in a number of both savory and sweet dishes, providing them with a burst of refreshing flavor along with a pop of color. Here are seven dinner and dessert dishes that showcase the apricot in all of its spring glory. You’ll be surprised to see how many of your party guests gravitate to the healthy orange dishes.
1. Endive-and-Apricot Tartines
Our first recipe comes from Food & Wine, and it’s for Endive-and-Apricot Tartines. This spring dish is just as aesthetically pleasing as it is stomach-appeasing and that’s all thanks to the refreshing flavors of the spring harvest. Indulge in this lunch that enlists crisp endives and apricots, and you’ll never go back to boring PB&J again. The tartness of the apricot is cut by the sharpness of Manchego cheese, and the toasted pecans are just icing on the cake — or in our case, tartine.
- 4 (¾-inch) slices of a rustic or sourdough boule
- ¼ cup pecans
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
- 2 endives, halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 fresh apricots, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
- Shaved sheep-milk cheese, such as Manchego, and chopped marjoram, for garnish
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the bread and pecans on a baking sheet. Brush the bread with some olive oil. Toast until the bread and pecans are golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Chop the pecans.
In a medium bowl, toss the endives with the lemon juice and season with salt. Let stand until slightly wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the apricots and pecans and toss. Top the bread slices with the endive salad and garnish with cheese and marjoram. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
2. Grilled Apricot, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Salad
- 6 fresh apricots
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1.5 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 bunch stemmed arugula
- 1 log fresh goat cheese
Directions: Light a grill. In a medium bowl, toss the apricots with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Grill the apricot halves over high heat for about 5 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred and softened. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and finely chop.
Put the pine nuts in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and toss. Arrange the goat cheese slices on plates. Top with the apricot halves and arugula salad and serve right away.
3. Apricot Prosciutto Pizza
If you’re pining for pizza rather than greens, check out this formula for Apricot Prosciutto Pizza found on Cooking Light. Two words: You’re welcome. With this pie, you get your gourmet meat and take advantage of the spring harvest, too. The thin crust on this pizza is the perfect vehicle for fresh apricots and delicate prosciutto, and you’ll soon find that this dish is the perfect sophisticated spring pizza to serve for lunch or dinner.
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ teaspoon dry yeast
- 8½ teaspoons olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 6 ounces bread flour
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 apricots, each pitted and cut into 8 wedges
- 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- ¾ cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 ounce shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Directions: Combine ½ cup warm water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add 4 teaspoons oil and ¼ teaspoon salt to yeast mixture. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over yeast mixture; mix 2 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; cover surface of dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 24 hours.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand, covered, 1 hour or until dough comes to room temperature. Punch dough down. Roll dough out to a thin 12-inch circle on a lightly floured baking sheet, without raised edges, sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges to form a ½-inch border. Pierce dough several times with a fork. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap.
Position an oven rack in the lowest setting. Place a pizza stone on lowest rack. Preheat oven to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat the pizza stone for 30 minutes before baking dough.
Combine 1 tablespoon oil, thyme, pepper, apricots, shallots, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; toss gently. Remove plastic wrap from dough; slide dough onto preheated pizza stone, using a spatula as a guide. Bake at 550 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 minutes. Top dough with goat cheese and apricot mixture. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cut pizza into 10 slices; sprinkle with parsley and chives. Toss arugula with remaining 1 ½ teaspoons oil; arrange arugula over apricot mixture. Top with prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Cut into 10 wedges.
4. Grilled Apricots with Goat Cheese
For a sweet and savory dish that can be served as an appetizer or side, try this recipe from Tasty Kitchen for Grilled Apricots with Goat Cheese. We mentioned before the spring fruit pairs perfectly with rich goat cheese, and this food formula proves it. What’s more, the side dish couldn’t be easier. Simply grill up your apricots and top them with cheese, honey, and pine nuts. This sweet treat is pretty to look at and delicious to eat.
- ⅓ cups goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey, plus more for garnish
- 2 whole large apricots
- Butter, for brushing on apricots
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- Ground cardamom, for garnish
Directions: In a small bowl, fold together the goat cheese and the honey. Set aside.
Halve the apricots and remove the pit. Brush the apricots with butter and place them on a hot grill, cut side down. Grill the apricots for 3 to 5 minutes, until grill marks appear on the apricots.
Fill the apricots with the sweetened goat cheese mixture and sprinkle with the pine nuts and mint. Garnish with a thin drizzle of honey and a light sprinkle of cardamom.
5. Apricot Cobbler
Next up: Apricot Cobbler from Taste of Home. Try something different this spring and enlist apricots in your homemade pastry instead of other more typical fruits and berries. The mildly tart flavor of apricots performs ideally in cobblers and after one bite of the rich orange dish, you’ll never disregard the spring fruit again.
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup water
- 3 cans apricot halves, drained
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cold butter
- ½ cup milk
Directions: In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in water until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat. Add apricots and butter; heat through. Pour into a greased shallow 2-quart baking dish.
For topping, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk just until moistened. Spoon over hot apricot mixture. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean.
6. Apricot Almond Scones
Apricots can also pair with almonds to yield a sweet treat that is destined to be enjoyed as a snack, breakfast, or dessert. These Apricot Almonds Scones from Bright Eyed Baker are delightfully delicious, and they’re a creative departure from the overly sweet scones you find in bakery display cases. Requiring a handful of ingredients you might already have in your kitchen, these scones are the perfect treats to make for brunch at home or tea time. The recipe requires dried apricots, which you can easily find at your grocery store.
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 7 ounces almond paste, cubed
- ½ cup, frozen and cubed
- 5 ounces chopped dried apricots
- 5 ounces chopped toasted almonds
- ½ cup ounces milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
Directions: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cubed almond paste and butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until no large pieces of either remain and the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add the chopped dried apricots and almonds and whisk or toss in until evenly dispersed in the mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, and almond extract. Add to the dry scone mixture in three parts, folding in partially after each addition. Once all of the liquid has been added, continue to fold in with a spatula until the dry and wet ingredients are together but not yet evenly combined. Use your hands to finish combining the ingredients, gently forming a large ball of dough.
Divide the ball of dough in half and shape each half into a round disc, about ¾- to 1-inch thick, on one of the prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 1 hour.
Toward the end of the chilling period, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the fully chilled scones from the freezer and slice each round into 8 triangles. Space the cut scones apart on the two lined baking sheets. Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
7. Oatmeal Apricot Cookies
Rounding out our list are these Oatmeal Apricot Cookies from Martha Stewart. Instead of serving your regular oatmeal raisin cookies, give these sweet treats a try. Studded with apricots and almonds, these oatmeal cookies are satisfying without tasting cloyingly sweet, and they pair perfectly with coffee or a cup of afternoon tea. Usher the summer season in with Oatmeal Apricot Cookies and you’ll forget all about dried raisins.
- 1¼ cups rolled oats
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup roughly chopped dried apricots
- ¾ cup slivered almonds
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add oat mixture, and mix until just combined. Stir in apricots and almonds by hand.
Divide dough into twelve pieces, and roll into balls. Place balls 3 to 4 inches apart on baking sheets. Using your fingers, flatten balls to about a ¾-inch thickness. Bake cookies until edges begin to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.