What’s in season: Apricots and other stone fruit are filling up market stands this time of year, and really beginning to hit their stride. Look for plump, sweet Castlebrites, large Robadas, cult-favorite Blenheims and fragrant Poppy apricots, as well as pluots and apriums — hybrid fruit created by crossing apricots with plums. This colorful show typically lasts well through the hot summer months. Green apricots — unripe ones similar in appearance to almonds — pop up occasionally at the odd stand; these are bitter- or sour-flavored fruit often used for pickling.
What to cook: At their ripest, apricots are a simple but perfect snack, served alongside a few napkins to help with each juicy bite. Slice the fruit to add sweet notes to a salad, or halve and grill apricots to caramelize the sugars before serving alongside a scoop of ice cream. Turn the fruit into a shrub — a sweetened, vinegar-based drink also called “drinking vinegars” — or add diced fruit to a summer sangria or tossed as part of a sweet/savory salsa. If adding to a tart, galette or crumble, the skins are easily removed before using: Score the base of each fruit with an X, then place in boiling water just until the skin begins to curl. Remove the fruit to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and peel the skin away as soon as the fruit is cool enough to handle.
What’s on the horizon: Green beans are showing up, as are the first of the summer figs.