A smooth-skinned peach, the flesh of the nectarine is very juicy with a peachy almond flavour – slightly sharper than a peach. White-fleshed nectarines are particularly delicate in flavour.
May to September.
Buy firm-fleshed fruit which gives slightly when gently squeezed in the palm of your hand. Firm fruit will ripen at room temperature in a day or two.
Nectarines are best eaten raw and unpeeled. To cut in half, run a knife around the natural line, twist the two halves in opposite directions then remove the stone. Add sliced to fruit salads, pile onto homemade pavlova or serve sprinkled with orange juice, rose wine or even Champagne. If you want to peel nectarines, use a knife to slit and peel away the skin but if it won’t come away easily, immerse them in boiling water for a few seconds (depending on ripeness), then drain and peel.
Nectarines are best kept at room temperature.