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An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Nectarines
    Look for golden yellow, not green, skin (crimson patches indicate variety, not ripeness). Ripe fruits should be fragrant and give slightly when pressed. Avoid specimens with cracked, punctured skin, as well as overly firm fruits, which are likely to shrivel before ripening. For baking, choose freestone nectarines: Their pits are easier to remove.

  • How to Store Nectarines
    Handle nectarines carefully to avoid bruising, which leads to rot. Unripe fruits should be kept at room temperature, stem-side down, until they begin to emit a subtle perfume and the flesh gives slightly. Only after they’ve ripened should nectarines be refrigerated, which can prolong freshness for up to 5 days.

    How to Prepare Nectarines
    To slice, cut through to the pit all the way around the seam, twisting each half to dislodge the stone. (A squeeze of fresh lemon juice will keep sliced fruit from browning.) To remove the skins before baking, sub-merge whole fruits in boiling water for 10 seconds, then slip off the skins.

  • How to Use Nectarines
    Nectarines are particularly good in summer salads with soft, ripe cheeses like blue cheese.

    —Melinda Page

    Real Simple Nectarine Recipes:

    See all Nectarine recipes »

What's your favorite nectarine recipe?

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what's in season

Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.

  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini
  • Peaches
  • Cucumber
  • Blueberries
  • Arugula
  • Sweet corn
  • Fiddlehead Ferns
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherries
What's Fresh Near You

Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.

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