Apricot season is here. So why did I make a dish with dried ones?

Well, it just works better. Apricots are naturally pucker and demand some sweetness.

The dried apricots here are reconstituted with orange juice, thereby slightly sweetening the deal of this appetizer, while playing nicely with creamy goat cheese and savory pistachios.

I made the following appetizer for my Easter dinner and made this, again, two weeks ago when I was craving apricots (beta-carotene and potassium deficiency?)  and fantasizing about these smooth, light-orange orbs that would soon be dotting the tables at varying farmers markets.

If you make this, seek out dried California apricots; they are just more flavorful. Their Mediterranean counterparts seem too brown and too heavily treated with sulfur dioxide. Strange, since I thought the sulfur dioxide would prevent them from browning?

I did buy some fresh apricots the other day so all that is fresh in my world is not completely lost. You know, fresh apricots work perfectly with raspberries in a pie. Hmmmm….

Oh, this recipe makes a crazy amount. When I made this, I simply used 15 dried apricots, 1/2 cup of orange juice, a handful of pistachios and a small chunk of goat cheese. I’m including the original recipe, in full, in case you are feeling ambitious.

Dried Apricots with Goat Cheese and Pistachios
Gourmet Magazine
Makes 150 hors d’oeuvres

150 dried apricots
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 cups of shelled pistachios. Half of them toasted
1 pound of soft, mild goat cheese, chilled.

Toss apricots with juice and let stand, tossing occasionally, 20 minutes.

Chop all pistachios, preferably by hand, and season with salt. Drain apricots, cut sides up, on paper towels. Top each with a small chunk of cheese and sprinkle with nuts.

You can assemble these 1 day ahead and chill them, covered, but they can’t be stacked and will take up a lot of refrigerator space.