Welcome to Mise en Place, a journey of culinary delight where anything can happen. Based on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s list of food by month, KRCC takes a look at farmers, chefs, and fodder, all with a Centennial State bent.

Each month, the state’s agriculture department highlights a commodity and provides a recipe using that product. We take it a step further.

Vibrant and very orange apricots are nearly ready to harvest. KRCC’s Ellen Mahoney visited with Elaine Andrews, who co-owns Andrews Family Farm, a CSA in East Boulder, with her husband, Rich. Ellen also visited the Arugula Bar e Ristorante in North Boulder, where Chef Alec Schuler prepared a colorful spinach and apricot salad.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

See below for recipes for a Spinach and Apricot Salad from Chef Alec Schuler of Arugula Bar e Ristorante, and for Apricot Shortcake from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Spinach and Apricot Salad
Chef Alec Schuler, Arugula Bar e Ristorante, Boulder, CO


1 lb. fresh spinach (local baby spinach is ideal)
1 bulb fennel (sliced very thin, preferably on a Mandolin slicer)
8 fresh apricots (pitted and cut into wedges)
½ lb. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 cup toasted, sliced almonds
1 cup Champagne-Tarragon vinaigrette

In a large bowl, toss spinach and fennel with one cup of Champagne-Tarragon vinaigrette. Use less if a lightly dressed salad is preferred.
Top salad with apricots, Gorgonzola cheese and almonds; serve immediately. Yields 6 servings.

Champagne-Tarragon Vinaigrette


½ cup Champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 small shallot
1 small garlic clove
¼ cup fresh tarragon
Salt & pepper to taste
¾ cup canola oil (or other bland-tasting oil)
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

In a blender mix all ingredients except the oils. Process on low and then add both oils slowly to emulsify. Note: if vinaigrette is too thick add a small amount of water. Yields about 2 cups.

Recipe from the Colorado Department of Agriculture

Colorado Apricot Shortcake
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC

Serves 6

12 ea. Apricots, pitted and sliced, do not peel
1 cup White Sugar
1/2 cup Apple Juice
3 cups Whipped Cream

Cut the apricots in half, remove the pit and slice. In a large bowl, place the sliced apricots, cover with sugar and mix well. Add the apple juice and combine. Allow the apricots to marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Prepare the Vanilla Drop Biscuits according to the recipe below.

Vanilla Drop Biscuits:
2-1/3 cups Bisquick Mix
2/3 cup Buttermilk
3 tbsp. Vanilla Paste
3 tbsp. Butter, melted
3 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
4 tbsp. White Sugar

Preheat oven to 425° F. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except white sugar and mix well using hands. Use an ungreased thick cookie sheet pan to prevent scorching. Using a large soup spoon put a heaping drop of biscuit batter onto the sheet pan. Use white sugar to dust tops of biscuits. Bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, take off cookie sheet and cool on a rack.

Slice each biscuit in half and save the top piece. Scoop some of the apricots and juice onto the bottom half of the biscuit (be sure to evenly divide the liquid and apricots among the 6 biscuits). Place a dollop of whipped cream on top. Place the biscuit top on and drizzle with any remaining liquid. Serve chilled.


Comments are closed.


November 26, 2015 | NPR · The former New York Jets QB, who ran straight into his own lineman’s backside on Thanksgiving Day in 2012, will reportedly start for the Philadelphia Eagles today.

Getty Images
November 26, 2015 | NPR · Conservatives who want to emphasize America’s Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country’s founding is overstated.

November 26, 2015 | NPR · Tunisian authorities identified the bomber as a 27-year-old Tunisian man named Houssem Abdelli. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

Arts & Life

Courtesy of 47North
November 26, 2015 | NPR · Ursula Vernon (writing as T. Kingfisher) delivers a fleet, stripped-down fairy tale with echoes of Bluebeard and Peter Beagle. Critic Tasha Robinson praises Vernon’s tough-minded, distinctive women

November 25, 2015 | NPR · No one knows the struggles and successes of women in Hollywood better than Nina Jacobson, the producer of the Hunger Games movies. NPR catches up with one of the most powerful women in the business.

Courtesy of Pixar
November 25, 2015 | NPR · Pixar’s second film of 2015 is no Inside Out story-wise, but its visuals and wonderful score make the time spent in its dino-packed alternate universe a pleasure.


November 26, 2015 | KCRW · Watch the ambitious neo-soul collective perform “By Fire” live at Apogee Studio.

Courtesy of the artist
November 26, 2015 | WXPN · Hear the ZZ Top guitarist like you’ve never heard him before.

Courtesy of the artist
November 26, 2015 | WXPN · Hear how a singer-songwriter from Denver went gospel-soul — and made a hit record.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac