These smooth-skinned cousins of the peach are extra sweet and juicy—and good sources of vitamins A and C. Hard-to-find white
nectarines are less acidic, so they’re sweeter.
Season: May through August.
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.
Real Simple Nectarine Recipes:
- Open-Face Turkey and Nectarine Sandwiches
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Nectarines
- Nectarine-Mint Spritzer
- Poached Nectarines
- Honey-Broiled Nectarines
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.