Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Apricots

Apricots: until recent years the only association these brought to mind were the flavoured yoghurts marketed to kids. A few years of kitchen experimenting later and how wrong we were to disregard apricots in such a way. Perfect in both sweet and savoury, they made many an appearance in our lunch boxes back in the daily changing menu days - our favourite being paired being roasted alongside parsnips. 

Another of the stone fruit family - a relative of peaches, plums and cherries - apricots have a soft, velvety skin and vary in colour from yellow to orange. They're in season from May through to September and offer up a good dose of Vitamin A and C, bursting with natural antioxidants. For the best, steer clear of pale or wrinkled skin and give them a good squeeze - if they give a little, then they'll be perfect for eating right away. 

RECIPE IDEAS 

- Roasting apricots brings out the sweet flavour and makes the flesh softer - both things we're a fan of. Try them with porridge or coconut yoghurt at breakfast. 

- They're also great with savoury. Our favourite is roasted apricots and roast parsnips with rocket, green beans and puy lentils topped with toasted hazelnuts. 

- Apricots are also an unexpected option for tarts, galettes, and pies. Perfectly sweet and wonderful paired with an almond pastry. 

- Apricot jam is always a delicious option too. Strawberry chia jam seems to be a popular choice, but try mixing pureed stewed apricots with a little sweetener and chia seeds instead. 

- They're also a staple in moroccan dishes. Try adding to a stew with other staple moroccan flavours such as paprika, cumin and honey. Add slow cooked lamb for a meat option of chickpeas and butternut squash for a veggie alternative.