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  • Writer's pictureHouse of Qi

Apricot Summer

Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows.

— Helen Keller

Apricots are my favourite summer fruit. To me, they are little balls of bright orange sunshine. Just seeing an apricot makes my mouth water. And when I think of all the delicious and nutritious ways to utilise them in recipes their versatility seems boundless.

Did you know, that in Traditional Medicine, apricots have been used as a healing food for millennia? They are small but mighty and so good for your heart as well as being a great energy booster. Summer, in Traditional Medicine, is all about your heart and apricots have been used for centuries to support and guard your body against heart attacks.

Traditional Medicine loves the apricot for lowering blood pressure, providing natural relief from coughs and helping to reduce thirst – a must in this stifling summer heat.

You can eat apricots fresh, dried, stewed, baked, sautéed and flambéed. I have included one of my all-time favourite recipes below to give you and idea of just how versatile apricots can be.

Next time you want to add vibrancy, colour and flavour to a recipe – think about apricots. Good for your body, mind and spirit - you’ll be glad you did.



  • 5 green cardamom pods, bruised

  • 1 tbs ground coriander

  • 1 tbs cumin

  • 2 tsp ginger

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 6 chicken thigh cutlets, skin on

  • 2 tbs olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

  • ½ cup (115g) dried apricots, halved

  • Juice of 2 lemons

  • Pared zest of 1 lemon

  • 1½ cups Israeli couscous

  • 2 red onions, finely chopped

  • 3 carrots, diced

  • ½ cup (60g) pitted green olives

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock


  • Coriander leaves

  • Chopped toasted almonds

  • Harissa


  • Mix all the spices in a bowl with 2 tsp salt flakes and 1 tsp ground black pepper. Place chicken in a bowl with 1 tbs oil and add half the spice mix, tossing to coat.

  • Bring apricots and lemon juice to the boil in a small saucepan, then set aside.

  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook couscous according to packet instructions. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drizzle with a little extra oil and stir to coat. Set aside.

  • Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and cook chicken in batches, turning once, for 8-10 minutes until well browned. Transfer to a plate. Add onion and carrot to same pan and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes until softened. Add reserved spices and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add olives, tomato and apricot and lemon mixture and nestle chicken among the mix. Increase heat to medium, add stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Rest for 10 minutes.

  • Add cooked couscous and stir to combine. Scatter with lemon zest, coriander and almonds. Serve with harissa.

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