Valais, the canton where I live, is the third largest canton of Switzerland and the sunniest part of the country. It is the country’s most important wine producer and famous
for its apricots.
Apricots originally came from China and arrived in Europe via Persia and Armenia – that’s why they’re called prunus armeniaca in Latin. In Switzerland they were first mentioned in documents from 1851. Since then they have been extensively cultivated in the Rhône valley. For a long time the variety luizet was the most common one, but nowadays there are at least 30 different varieties that can be harvested all through the summer, which is long and sunny here!
However, apricots don’t just grow down in the Rhône valley, but also up in my mountain village at 1.350m. My neighbours have a big and beautiful apricot tree and thanks to them I can enjoy this wonderfully zesty but still sweet fruit in abundance.
I’ve made apricot jam, two different kinds of apricot chutney and recently I composed a really nice lunch salad with apricots by the Swedish motto “man tager vad man haver” (use what you have at home).
Rice Salad with Apricots
For 1 person
2 dl of cooked rice, or couscous, bulgur etc.
3 ripe apricots (or one big peach/nectarine)
1 dl fresh basil leaves
½ dl fresh peppermint leaves
½ dl roughly chopped walnuts
1 Tsp. grated lemon zest
Salt & pepper
A dash of some good organic oil, I used walnut oil
• Cook whatever you like as a base. I used wholegrain rice.
• Dice the apricots and add them to the rice.
• Chop basil and mint leaves finely and add them as well.
• Stir in the lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
• Sprinkle over the oil of your choice
This salad combines tangy and sweet elements, herbal freshness, has a spicy note and is just perfect on hot summer days.