In Season: Nectarines

In Season

Our recipe recommendations for what's in season.


[snorkel on flickr]

I never knew quite what to make nectarines—were they orange-fleshed plums? Or peaches with a hefty application of Nair? Turns out I wasn't far off: they're mutant peaches with a recessive hairless gene.

Since nectarines are so genetically close to peaches, the flavor is similar although nectarines are bred smaller. Growing up, my family and I just munched on raw fruit—a perfectly delicious way to eat them, but there's no need to get caught in that rut. This Independence Day weekend, trying tossing halves on the grill for a smoky, juicy flavor, cubing them in a fruit salad, or using them your baked desserts. As a bonus, they're also high in vitamins A and and potassium.

When buying nectarines, look for bold coloring (which can range from canary yellow to ruby red, depending on the variety) and slightly yielding flesh on the seam side. If you buy hard fruit, put in a paper bag with a banana or apple to ripen. Store them on a counter top away from direct sunlight.