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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
José Pizarro

José Pizarro’s recipe for vermut-roasted apricots

José Pizarro’s vermut-roasted apricots with toasted pistachios, honey and saffron.
José Pizarro’s vermut-roasted apricots with toasted pistachios, honey and saffron. Photograph: Issy Croker/The Guardian. Food styling: Esther Clark. Prop styling: Louie Waller. Food styling assistant: Clare Cole

Apricots have a short season, so don’t miss your chance to get creative with them. At the right moment in summer, their velvet skin and sweet-sour flesh makes them taste a bit like a plum crossed with a peach, and they are totally different from any other stone fruit out there. Equally summery is the pistachio: we eat tons of them back home in Spain, especially when they’re in season.

Vermut-roasted apricots with toasted pistachios, honey and saffron

Our local honey in Extremadura is delicious, mostly because it isn’t too sweet, but use your own favourite here. As for the saffron, yes, it’s expensive, but a little pot can last ages and adds a magical, earthy-sweet dimension to anything it touches. To make your pistachios a vibrant green, soak the shelled nuts in boiling water for two or three minutes, then drain and rub dry on a tea towel. The skins will flake off, leaving you with just the bright green insides.

Prep 10 min
Cost 40 min
Serves 4

8 just-ripe apricots, halved and stoned
125ml sweet vermouth
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 small pinch
saffron threads
75g shelled pistachios
Vanilla ice-cream
, to serve

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Put the apricot halves in an ovenproof dish and pour over the vermouth. Drizzle with the honey and vanilla bean paste, then scatter on saffron and toss to coat the apricots all over.

Arrange the apricots so they are all cut side up, cover the dish with foil, then roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Tip the cooking juices into a small pan, bring to a low boil and leave to bubble for a minute or two, to reduce a little. Pour the syrupy juice over the apricots then serve topped with the pistachios and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

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