Available in the U.S. from late May to early October, peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines are among the most delectable of summer’s stone fruits, so-called because they contain a stone, or pit, at the center that encases the seed. We love to eat them out of hand, of course, but they’re also delightful in an abundance of sweet and savory recipes: think green bean and peach salad, nectarine and plum chicken tagine, stone fruit rosé sangria, and irresistible pies and cobblers.
HOW TO BUY
Most peaches, plums, and nectarines are picked before they’re fully ripe, to prevent bruising in transport. Look for fruit that is firm to the touch without brown spots or wrinkling. Don’t be afraid to take a sniff—peaches, plums, and nectarines should smell as delicious as you’d expect them to taste.
HOW TO STORE
Leave stone fruits out at room temperature for a day or two to ripen; they’re ready when slightly tender to the touch—a firm press with your finger near the stem end will leave a slight dent. Once ripe, store stone fruits in the refrigerator in the crisper drawer, uncovered and unwashed, for up to five days.
HOW TO PREPARE
Wash stone fruits in cold water before using. To pit the fruit, slice through the flesh along the seam and in a full circle around the stone; then twist in opposite directions to separate the halves. Remove the stone with a knife end.