Seven Savory Ways to Use Pears
Pears aren't just suitable for snacks
and desserts. You could put them in every course of an elaborate meal,
if you were so inclined. The Pear Bureau Northwest
would be most happy to show you how. The nonprofit marketing organization representing nearly 1,700 growers in Washington and Oregon,
where most of the U.S. pear crop is produced, offers a wide array of recipes
on its web site featuring pears in everything from soup to tarts. The
bureau is always on the lookout for innovative new pear dishes and
solicits new recipes each month from notable chefs around the nation. Those recipes are disseminated in a
monthly email newsletter called Pear
Panache, billed by the bureau as the place "where pear meets
Here are four recipes from the Pear Panache archives and three other
recipes from bureau's web site, all of which feature pears in
and Squash Bruschetta
Pear and Goat Cheese Crostini
Pear and Chicken Pastilla
Squash Stuffed w/ Pears, Wild Rice, Walnuts
Roasted Pear and
Delicata Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Endive Salad with Roasted
Pears and Cranberry Vinaigrette
Pear Ginger Chutney
The Great Book of Pears
By Barbara Jeanne Flores
BUY THIS BOOK
& Plums: 40 Recipes for Fine Dining at Home
By Elaine Elliot
BUY THIS BOOK
more selections, visit the
Seasonal Chef BOOKSTORE
and Squash Bruschetta [top]
1 butternut squash (1-1/2 pounds)
2 yellow onions (1 pound), coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 sage leaves
3 ripe pears, cored and cut into half-inch cubes
1/2 pound loaf sourdough bread
1/4 pound smoked ricotta or smoked mozzarella cheese
Pumpkin seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
1. Peel squash. Combine squash trimmings, onion and carrots in a
large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer 45
minutes or until liquid is flavorful, adding additional water to keep
about 3 cups liquid in pan. Strain. Reserve liquid and discard solids.
2. Scrape seeds from squash and discard. Cut squash into 1/2-inch cubes.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large shallow pan. Add sage and fry for
30 seconds or until crisp and fragrant. Remove sage with a slotted
spoon; drain on paper towel and reserve for garnish.
3. Add squash and pears to pan. Cook over medium heat stirring
frequently until just starting to brown. Add 1 cup of the squash stock
and cook until reduced. Repeat, using about 3 cups stock. Pears and
squash should be soft but still hold shape. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Meanwhile, slice bread into 1/2-inch slices. Toast in 350ºF oven
until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Spoon about ¼ cup warm
pear-squash mixture onto each bruschetta. Using a vegetable peeler, make
ribbons of cheese and place on top of each. Drizzle with pumpkin seed or
olive oil if desired. Garnish servings with fried sage.
Source: Chef Craig Richards, La Tavola
Glazed Pear and Goat Cheese Crostini
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon honey
24 baguette rounds, toasted
1/2 cup goat cheese, spreadable
1/2 cup almonds, slivered, toasted*
black pepper, ground, if desired
1. Slice pears stem side up into 12 quarter-inch width vertical
planks. Cut large slices in half lengthwise for a total of 48 slices.
2. Heat vinegar, butter and honey in large frying pan over medium heat
for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until reduced by half, about 2
tablespoons. Add pear slices and continue cooking for 1 minute turning
3. Place 2 pear slices on each baguette round and top with 1 teaspoon
goat cheese. Sprinkle almonds over cheese and garnish with fresh pepper,
*To toast almonds, place in heavy frying pan and toast over medium heat,
stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes or until tan with toasted aroma.
USA, Pear Bureau
Pear and Chicken Pastilla [top]
Makes one 9-inch pie, serves 6-8.
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, or 1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
3 cups diced Bartlett pears (1 pound)
2 large onions, chopped (1 pound)
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup mild olive oil
10 13 x 17-inch phyllo leaves
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
To Prepare Chicken Filling:
1. If using whole seeds, grind coriander and cumin in a spice
grinder, or crush in a mortar and pestle. Add cinnamon, ginger and
allspice. Set aside.
2. Heat canola oil in a deep skillet. Season chicken with salt and
pepper, and brown on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Add pears and onion to pan and sauté until lightly caramelized,
about 10 minutes. Stir in spice mixture and cook 1-2 minutes until
spices are fragrant.
4. Return chicken to pan. Add broth and cream. Cover and simmer over low
heat about 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken
to a plate to cool.
5. Continue to simmer sauce until thickened and reduced by half. Beat
eggs and yolk; stir into sauce and cook on low heat about 10 minutes
until sauce thickens again.
6. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces and return to pear mixture.
Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
To Assemble Pastilla:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil a 9-inch round springform pan.
Fold one phyllo leaf in half and place on bottom of pan. Brush with oil.
Evenly arrange 8 overlapping phyllo leaves in pan draping ends over
sides, lightly brushing each leaf with olive oil.
2. Spoon chicken-pear mixture into pan. Top evenly with almonds. Fold
ends of phyllo over filling. Brush top with oil. Bake 45 minutes until
3. Let stand 10 minutes. Combine powdered sugar and cinnamon and sift
over top of Pastilla. Remove sides of pan and cut into wedges.
Source: Chef Mark Poccaro, Top
of the Hub, Boston
Squash Stuffed w/ Pears, Wild Rice, Walnuts [top]
3 acorn or dumpling squash
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup wild rice
1 ½ cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
¼ teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large rib celery, finely chopped
2 firm Bosc or Anjou Pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut
into ½-inch dice
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Cut each squash in half
crosswise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. If necessary,
trim the top and bottom so that the squash will sit level, and place on
a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle each half with a little
salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste. Using 3 tablespoons of the butter,
dot each half with some butter. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake
the squash just until moist and tender, about 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine the rice, chicken broth, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2
cups of water, in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high
heat. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover, and cook,
stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. When
the rice is done most of the water should be evaporated.
3. In a 10-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Swirl to
coat the pan and saute the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot until
slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pears and saute 2 minutes
longer. Cover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook the
vegetables until crisp-tender, 3 minutes longer. Add the sage, thyme,
and parsley and saute 1 more minute. Remove from the heat.
4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, sauteed vegetables and
pears, walnuts and dried cranberries. Taste and add salt and pepper, if
desired. Mound the rice mixture into the squash halves, dividing it
evenly. Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into small pieces. Dot
each stuffed squash with butter. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F
until heated through, about 20 minutes.
To toast nuts:
Place the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a
preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Alternatively, the nuts can be browned in a microwave. Place the nuts in
a single layer on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave on high power
for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Watch carefully that they
USA, Pear Bureau
Pear and Delicata Squash Soup
with Parmesan Croutons [top]
2 pounds delicata squash or butternut squash, cut
in half lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 firm but ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears, cut in half lengthwise and
4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups ½-inch cubes of French or rustic white bread, crusts removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the flesh of the squash
and pears with olive oil and place, cut side down, on a rimmed baking
sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 to 35
2. Use a spoon to scrape out the flesh of the squash and pears,
and put in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
Discard the skins. Puree until smooth. Add 1 to 2 cups of the
chicken broth and continue processing until smooth.
3. Put this mixture in a 3 ½-to 4-quart saucepan, add the
remaining chicken broth, the cream, nutmeg, and sugar. Bring to a boil,
and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper
4. To make the croutons, place the bread cubes in a large mixing
bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over, add the Parmesan, and toss the bread
cubes until thoroughly coated. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed
baking sheet and bake until toasty brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Set
aside until ready to serve.
5. When ready to serve, ladle the soup into a warmed soup tureen
or individual soup bowls, garnish with the croutons, and serve
immediately. Serves 6
USA, Pear Bureau
Salad with Roasted Pears, Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese and
Cranberry Vinaigrette [top]
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 unpeeled ripe but firm pears
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 head baby frisee
2 heads Belgian endive
1 small head radicchio, sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cups baby arugula
Cranberry vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped
1. To roast the pears, preheat an oven to 500 F. Cut the pears into
eighths lengthwise. Core, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Whisk
the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then gently toss the pears in
2. Spread the pears on a rimmed baking sheet lightly sprayed
with vegetable-oil cooking spray and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until
lightly caramelized. You can make the pears up to 1 day in advance. If you do, cool them
thoroughly before refrigerating, then bring to room temperature about 1
hour before serving.
3. To finish the salad, cut the root end and about 1 inch of the top off
the frisee. Rinse the frisee thoroughly, separate the head into leaves,
and spin dry. Cut the stem ends off the endive, halve the heads
lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into thin strips.
Toss the frisee and endive in a large, deep bowl with the remaining
greens and about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette.
4. Divide the greens among large dinner plates. Top each salad with pears,
cheese, cranberries, and hazelnuts, dividing evenly. Pass additional
2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil or very light olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Combine the cranberries, sugar, and vinegar in a small nonreactive
saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop, about 4 to
5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
2. Puree the mixture in a blender, then blend in the mustard and orange
juice. With the machine running, gradually drizzle in the oil. The
dressing should become smooth and emulsified. Blend in the salt and
pepper. Refrigerate until needed.
Source: Chef Kathy Casey, Dish
Ginger Chutney [top]
4-5 Comice or
Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and diced (about 6 cups)
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
8 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
2 dried arbol chiles
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon nigella seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons julienne sliced ginger
2 tablespoons garlic, thinly sliced
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add whole
cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, chiles, fennel and nigella
seeds. Cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add onions; sauté until
browned. Add julienne ginger and garlic; sauté 3 minutes, stirring
frequently. Add remaining ingredients except pears and simmer until
slightly syrupy, 10-15 minutes.
2. Add pears and simmer until tender but still
hold their shape, 15-30 minutes depending on ripeness of pears. When
pears are cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer chutney to a tray to
cool. If desired, remove large pieces of whole spices. Return any
remaining liquid to stove and simmer until thick and syrupy. Combine hot
syrup and pears in a bowl. Cool completely to allow flavors to mingle.
Serve with naan or pappadums.
Note: Makes 4 cups.
Source: Chef David