Fresh fruit ripe for the picking

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July 25, 1999|By Annette Gooch | Annette Gooch,Universal Press Syndicate

Abundant flavor in a naturally beautiful, aromatic package makes apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, early apples and pears some of summer's most welcome gifts.

For peak appearance, flavor and nutrition, choose fruit that is in season and that has been handled and stored properly.

To gauge the softness of an apricot, peach, nectarine or plum without bruising it, cradle the fruit in your palm and close your fingers around it, applying gentle pressure. Ripe fruit will yield slightly.

Ripe fruit is highly perishable; purchase relatively small amounts frequently rather than attempting to stock up.

In the first recipe, fruit gives natural sweetness to a breakfast or post-workout smoothie. Tofu thickens the beverage and adds protein and minerals.

In the second recipe, ripe peaches and a merry Beaujolais create an effortless, elegant dessert.

Nectarine-Plum Smoothie

Serves 1

1 ripe nectarine

1 ripe purple or red plum

1/2 ripe banana, peeled

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup milk or plain yogurt

4 ounces soft tofu (optional)

pinch ground nutmeg

Wash, pit and coarsely chop nectarine and plum. Place all ingredients in blender. Process until smooth.

Peches au Beaujolais

Serves 6

6 large, ripe freestone peaches, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 to 3 teaspoons sugar

1 bottle (750 ml) Beaujolais wine

In a small bowl, combine sliced peaches, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add sugar to taste; toss gently to blend. Cover and refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving. To serve, divide peaches among 6 stemmed glasses and pour 1/2 cup wine into each glass.

Pub Date: 07/25/99

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