September 27, 2017
We're lucky to have pears available all year around in the US due to cold storage, but it's when the new season Bartlett Pears start arriving in stores late summer that I really look forward to eating pears.
Pears don't ripen very well on trees the way other fruit do, so they're still green when they're picked. At home, leave your pears at room temperature in a fruit bowl. Most pear varieties don't change color as they ripen, but when there is a bit of give around the neck, that's when they've ripened to perfection.
Besides being full of fiber and containing a wealth of vitamins and minerals including potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K - there is so much you can do with pears. They're delicious eaten fresh, in salads, poached, roasted, pureed, in baking, paired with cheese, honey and wine.
Here are a few of my favorite pear recipes with some help from some foodie blogger friends!
Preheat oven to 350F.
Boil a 16 oz bag of frozen and shelled edamame in salted water for 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in iced water for a couple of minutes to cool, then drain.
Set aside 1/4 cup of the edamame and pop the rest in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Combine the pureed edamame with the ones you put aside and add in 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup chopped mint, 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, salt and pepper.
Thinly slice a baguette, brush with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and top with 1 tbsp. of the edamame mix and chopped pear.
Bake 12 thin pancetta slices on aluminum foil for 8 to 10 minutes at 450F. Transfer to a paper towel lined wire rack and let cool and crisp up.
Core pear with apple corer and cut into 12 rings (a Bartlett works well for this) and arrange on a serving platter.
Top the pear discs with a pancetta slices, sprinkle of goat cheese, cracked pepper, a drizzle of sweet pohutukawa honey and a sprig of fresh thyme.
Check out the full recipe at MyRecipes.com
In a bowl mix 1 c plain yogurt, 1/3 c tahini, the juice of a lemon, a crushed clove of garlic and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high and cook a pound of minced lamb, 1 1/2 tsp. each of fennel seeds, cumin and coriander, 1/2 tsp chili, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Cook until the lamb has browned then remove from the heat.
Brush with extra virgin olive oil, 3 Green Bartlett Pears (peeled, cored and cut into wedges) 1 red onion (cut into thick rings), and halloumi (cut into thick fingers). Arrange on the grill and char both sides until tender.
Grill flatbread then put it all together: first a big smear of the yogurt mixture, then the onion rings and halloumi, followed by the lamb mixture, topped with the pears and finished off with pine nuts and mint.
Preheat oven to 400F and line a shallow baking dish with baking paper.
Place halved pears face down and cover with half of the coconut, honey and vanilla mix. Cover and bake for 25 minutes.
Turn pears over, baste with the remaining mixture, and pop back in the oven uncovered for a further 20 minutes or until pears are tender.
Zest with an orange. Serve with vanilla yoghurt.
Preheat oven to 250F.
Slice firm pears into thin discs trying to get them as uniform as possible (the recipe creator used Conference Pears which are more common in the UK - in the US go for another firm variety like a Bartlett).
Lay the pear discs on a baking tray making sure none of them over lap.
Bake for an hour and 15 minutes on one side, flip them, and give them another hour and 15 on the other side.
After they have finished cooking leave them in the oven for about another hour so they can really crisp up.
Make a pot of strong hot black tea (4 cups) and dissolve in 1/4 cup sugar.
Peel, core and cut into wedges 2 large Bosc pears. Place them in a pan, pour over the tea.
Simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes until the pears are tender. Set aside to cool.
Scoop out the pears with a slotted spoon, drizzle with syrup and serve with cream.
Preheat oven to 350F. Rinse pears (Anjou's are great in this recipe) and chop into 1/3 inch chunks, avoiding the core, and place in an ungreased baking dish.
Roughly chop a half cup of pecans, and combine with a cup of rolled oats, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup, (or I use forest or pohutukawa honey) 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
Spread the pecan topping mix over the chopped pears and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden. Let cool and serve - always a winner with vanilla ice cream!
The Green Anjou stays green when ripe. They're the most common variety in the US and are smooth and juicy. Great eaten fresh but also hold up well when cooked.
The Red Anjou is a little spicier and sweeter than it's green cousin. The Red Anjou is also delicious fresh and gives salads a nice color.
Barletts are golden-yellow, super juicy, fragrant, sweet and soft. The skin is a bit thick and bitter so often used for canning, poaching and purees.
Bosc pears are easily distinguishable by their long neck and brown skin. They're aromatic, flavorful and quite firm so they hold their shape nicely for grilling, roasting and poaching.
Seckel pears look small but can't be ignored. They're sweet and velvety with an awesome pear taste making them a fabulous contrast for sharp cheese and wine.
Concorde are the long yellow ones. They're firm, crisp and won't brown as quickly as other pears making them useful as garnishes. They also keep their shape well for poaching.
Forelles are also small but they're not too hard or not too sweet - just right as a little snacking pear. Especially for kids.
Starkrimsons are named for their bright red skin. They're soft, sweet with a mild floral taste.
Nashi pears are shaped more like an apple with firm, mild tasting, milk-white flesh. They're the oldest known cultivar, thought to have orginated in China more than 3000 years ago.
Comice pears are sweet and flavorful. They're delicate so usually eaten fresh rather than used for cooking.
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