- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What to serve overnight company for breakfast is a question I face often, especially during the summer vacation season. Many of our friends, who are watching their calories, tend to like lighter morning fare. My challenge, then, is to make these menus interesting but not heavy.

After a delicious meal at Persephone, a fairly new restaurant in Boston, I ordered the Greek yogurt with an apricot compote and pistachios for dessert. After only one bite, I knew that this simple and delectable creation would be perfect offered at brunch or breakfast.

Dried apricots were used in the original version, but they are fresh in my compote. Unpeeled, they are cut into wedges, then simmered quickly in a light sugar syrup scented with lemon and ginger. The compote can be made a day ahead so there’s no last minute fuss. At serving time only a quick assembly is necessary. The thick Greek yogurt is sweetened with a hint of honey, then spooned into bowls, topped with some apricots and syrup, and dusted with chopped pistachios.

Add some fresh juice plus a pot of coffee or tea, and you’ve got a strikingly colorful and extremely easy company meal to start the day.

Greek yogurt with apricot compote and pistachios

Makes 4 servings.

1 pound apricots, just slightly soft when touched, rinsed and dried, but unpeeled

2 cups water

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons honey

3 cups (21 to 24 ounces) Greek-style yogurt (see note)

4 tablespoons roasted, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped (see note)

Halve the apricots lengthwise, but do not peel them. Remove pits, then cut each half into 3 wedges.

Combine water, sugar, lemon zest and ginger in a medium saucepan set over medium high heat. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Then bring mixture to a gentle simmer. Add apricots and cook until just tender when pierced with a knife, 3 to 4 minutes (depending upon ripeness of fruit). Do not overcook or apricots will become mushy. Remove from heat and let sit for 2 minutes, then remove to a bowl using a slotted spoon.

Return poaching liquid to high heat and cook until thickened and somewhat syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup, 5 to 7 minutes or longer. Cool to room temperature, then pour over apricots.

The compote can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.

To serve, whisk honey into yogurt, then spoon yogurt into 4 bowls. Top each serving with some apricots and some of the syrup and with a dusting of pistachios.

Note: Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sell Greek yogurt, which is thick and creamy. Either the whole or 2 percent fat varieties of this yogurt works well in this recipe.


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