Ah, the summer… Kicking off your shoes and picnicking on the grass or dining on the terrace, enjoying the company of friends and those days that never end. To avoid spending hours in the kitchen, put French apricots and melons on the menu. Juicy and fragrant, they are packed with sweetness and energy from the sun and ready to eat in no time at all, no matter the time of the day!
Picnic at the beach
Melons are a breeze to pack, and there are no preparations required! Choose a heavy, fragrant fruit with a rind that gives to slight pressure. When the stem is cracking and starting to come away, that's the time! As for varieties, Charentais melons, which are grown in southern and mid-western France, dominate the market stalls with their striped, green skin and orange flesh. And don’t forget your pocket knife! To follow, prepare a tabbouleh with bulgur that has been soaked in cold water for two hours, the leaves of a bunch of mint and a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, 3 chopped early onions, olive oil, a little lemon, salt, and thin slices of Bergarouge apricot, not too ripe, to add a fruity twist ...
Barbecue in the garden
While the coals are heating, offer your guests a refreshing drink of light but deliciously aromatic margaritas: mix the flesh of 2 Charentais melons, cut into cubes, and placed in the freezer one hour in advance, with 20 fl oz of Anejo Tequila, 10 fl oz of lime juice and 2 teaspoons of agave syrup. Now that your guests are comfortable, put them to work! Thread halves of round, fleshy, Bergeron apricots from the Rhône valley onto sprigs of rosemary. You’ll need 2.2 lbs for 4 people. When it's time for dessert, brush these apricot skewers with a mixture of 4 tablespoons of brown sugar and 3.5 oz of salted butter, melted in a saucepan. Grill them for 10 minutes on the dying embers and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Transform a summer classic! Seek out an exceptional ham to complement your perfectly ripe slices of Cavaillon melon. How about a superb Corsican Prisuttu or a Bigorre Norcia Black Ham from Italy’s Perugia region? In addition, select 3 apricots that are still slightly firm, fragrant and a little tart, orange apricots that have ripened in the sunshine of Provence, for example. Cut them into very small cubes, to which you add 5 blades of chives, the leaves of 3 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley and 1 early onion, all finely chopped. Combine this condiment with an herbaceous olive oil, a pinch of fleur de sel and a twist of Kampot pepper. Serve with fresh goat’s cheese. A delight!
Dine al fresco
Apricot goes wonderfully with pork, so ask your butcher for a bone-in rack. Place the apricot halves on top, season and tie the meat to enclose the apricots. Roast in a casserole dish in the oven: easy, elegant, and delicious! Rouge du Roussillon apricots would be perfect. For dessert, opt for a light dish by taking out your Parisian scoop (double melon baller) and mixing yellow Charentais melon and watermelon balls. Season with a cold syrup, made with 4 tablespoons of sugar, 6.8 fl oz of water and the juice of a lime, heated for 5 minutes, and infused with 1 sprig of verbena ...