Nectarines are smooth-skinned, slightly smaller relatives of the peach. These juicy fruits have a rich, somewhat spicy flavor. Both freestone and cling (the fruit "clings" to the pit) varieties come to market. Choose unbruised, aromatic nectarines without any tinges of green. If necessary, hold at room temperature, sealed in a paper bag, until they yield to gentle pressure. Store ripe nectarines in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To pit nectarines:
With a small knife, cut the nectarine in half down to the pit. Grasp the halves and twist to separate them. Pull out the pit or pry it out with a knife.