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.


October 4, 2015 | NPR · Meanwhile, NATO has said that it will conduct an investigation into the attack on the city, which was briefly held by Taliban forces before being recaptured last week.

October 4, 2015 | NPR · The U.S. and NATO have spent years in Kunduz, Afghanistan, building communities to keep insurgents out. Two who were there 12 years ago describe how it felt this week when the Taliban retook the city.

October 4, 2015 | NPR · Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he’s a better choice for the job than Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Arts & Life

October 4, 2015 | NPR · Theater critic Michael Riedel dishes some juicy backstage anecdotes in his new book about Broadway’s Shubert Organization, but fails to bring its deal-makers and their troubles to convincing life.

October 4, 2015 | NPR · Fear The Walking Dead is telling a story not often explores on prime-time television: generational rifts over the violence that immigrant parents have experienced.

Courtesy of the Kerlan Collection
October 4, 2015 | NPR · Once a doctor’s hobby, the Kerlan Collection is now one of the world’s great collections of children’s literature. Over 100,000 books offer visitors a chance to see the writer’s process — for free.


Courtesy of the artist
October 4, 2015 | NPR · A one-time pop sensation, the singer and composer made a deft pivot to theater with his Tony-winning music for Spring Awakening. These days, he’s exploring the electronic music of his youth.

October 3, 2015 | NPR · Tom Waits lays down his belief in mole democracy and New York City surrealism in a recently unearthed, freshly animated interview on PBS.

Important Records
October 3, 2015 | NPR · Jacobs’ achievements are almost too diverse to list: a humorist, record producer, sound designer and radio host, he achieved little fame but was a catalyst for giant steps in the worlds he touched.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac