Apricots are similar to peaches, but are smaller and do not have that fuzz! Apricots have not received the attention they deserve, mostly due to those commercial "dried" apricots that taste like rubber and sugar. Fear not, these awesome bites of sunshine are sweet and soft when ripe. Don't mind that tinge of red on the flesh, it just means the fruit was kissed by the sun.
STORAGE: To help slightly unripe apricots ripen, place them in a paper bag. Close the bag and allow them to sit undisturbed in a warmish (but not hot) place for a few days. Store ripe apricots at room temperature. They will have a much better flavor if they are not chilled. If they are very ripe, then store them in your frige. Make sure to check on them as they ripen.
Quick Ideas: Cut in half, take out the pit and fill with yogurt or cottage cheese for a tasty treat; cut up into a salad
Lemon Date Bars: Makes 16 bars
from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home
2 Cups chopped pitted dates
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup water
1/2 margarine or butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda, sifted
1 cup rolled oats
Preheat the oven to 350*
In a saucepan, combine the dates, lemon juice, and water. Cook, covered, on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a bowl, cream together the margarine or butter and brown sugar. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the oats and mix well, using your hands. The dough will be crumbly but will hold together when squeezed. Press two-thirds of the dough into an oiled 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. Stir the date mixture and spread it over the dough. Crumble the remaining dough on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in the pan. Cut into 16 bars.