The greatest thing about summer is all of those ingredients that simply don't need you. With the most minimal of effort, and usually with methods of combining rather than actual cooking, summer fruits especially will yield the most satisfying results. I have always loved apricots. But finding one that is perfectly ripe, with sweet and tart in the right balance, isn't always easy. Unlike, say, peaches, apricots can be a bit temperamental. I was recently reading a fairly new issue of New York Magazine (which I threw away in a fit of apartment-cleaning frenzy) and in it I found an article on apricots that echoed my sentiments exactly. The author maintained that while apricots are fine, even brilliant, eaten out of hand on the occasion when you stumble on the perfect one, they should be enjoyed en mass simply sautéed in a little butter. Perhaps there were more stops in the article, but as I said, I no longer have a copy. Given my haul of apricots from a few days ago, I decided to give some of them a quick sauté in the smallest amount of butter.
I halved a handful of apricots as the pan was preheating. I then added enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Once it was melted, I added the apricots cut side down and let them sit until warmed through. This only takes a few moments, and you'll know when they're ready when they begin to release some of their juices. You could keep cooking them and make more of a compote, but I wanted to maintain the integrity of the individual fruits, so I removed them at this point. After a light sprinkling of fresh thyme (which really brought the brightest flavors of the apricots out!) I demolished the platefull in seconds flat.
So if you're tired of searching for the perfect raw apricot, of need a change from eating all of your summer fruit unadorned, definitely try this. You won't be sorry.