Pulled Pork and Pear Tacos with Pear Pico de Gallo

Time for a taco party! In this festive recipe, pears appear in two ways: braised with pork shoulder to create depth and sweetness for a juicy, shredded taco filling, and also mixed into a zesty pear and jicama pico de gallo for topping. There will be plenty of the flavorful slow-cooked meat to feed a crowd, and any leftovers can be frozen for quick taco making for future weeknight dinners. Serve with margaritas and chips and salsa to round out the menu.

Ingredients:

3 1/2 pounds pork shoulder (pork butt)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon chile powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 large ripe USA Pears, peeled and chopped

1 small white onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems

4 canned chipotle chiles with a little extra sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

Pear Pico de Gallo

1 1/2 cups finely diced USA Green Bartlett Pear

1 cup finely diced jicama

4 finely minced green onions

1/4 cup minced cilantro

2 minced jalapeños, or to taste

Juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt, to taste

Corn or flour tortillas, for serving

1 avocado, sliced

Sour cream, for serving

Pulled Pork and Pear Tacos with Pear Pico de Gallo

Directions:

To make the pulled pork: Cut the pork into 4 large chunks and season them with salt, chile powder, cumin, and pepper, coating all sides. Put the pork in a slow cooker and add the pears, onion, cilantro, chipotle chiles, and garlic, and squeeze the lime juice over everything. Cover and cook on until the meat easily shreds, 8 to 10 hours on low, or 4 to 6 hours on high. (This can also be cooked in an Instant Pot at high pressure for 75 minutes, following manufacturer’s instructions.) Shred the meat using two forks right in the slow cooker, discarding any fatty pieces. Keep warm.

To make the pico de gallo: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl up to 2 hours before serving.

Serve the pulled pork in warmed tortillas, topped with avocado, sour cream, and the pico de gallo, as desired.

(Leftover meat will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months.)

Pork and Pear Tacos

Want more pear recipes? Visit our recipe page!

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Photography: George Barberis (@georgebarberis)
Recipe and Styling: Andrea Slonecker (@andreaslonecker)

Pear Kimchi

Pear Kimchi

Sweet pears and spicy flavors make for a winning combination. Kimchi, the mainstay of every Korean table, has been gaining mass appeal in recent years. Prized for its health benefits and irresistible spiciness, kimchi is becoming a staple condiment in many homes. If you’ve never made your own, then this version, featuring pears and crunchy root vegetables, is a great place to start. This is a quick kimchi recipe, meant to enjoy immediately. Serve it alongside a simple roast pork with steamed rice and sautéed greens, add it to a vegan grain bowl, place it atop ramen noodles or in lettuce wraps—you’ll find that the ways to enjoy fresh kimchi are endless.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients: 

2 large white root vegetables, such as kohlrabi or turnips

2 large slightly underripe USA Pears

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup chives cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup coarsely ground gochugaru (Korean red chile flakes)

2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 (1 1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled

3 to 4 tablespoons water

Black or toasted white sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions:

First, trim and peel the root vegetable bulbs and cut them into 2-inch-long by 1/4-inch-thick rectangular sticks (like French fries). Peel and core the pears and cut them the same way. Combine the pear and vegetable sticks in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Gently but thoroughly massage them in. Set the bowl aside at room temperature until the pears and veggies are tender and pliable and have given up a lot of juices, 20 to 30 minutes, tossing once about halfway through.

Drain off the accumulated juices, and rinse in several changes of cold water, then drain well and gently press out as much moisture as possible. Return the pear mixture to the bowl and add the chives.

Process the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar with the gochugaru, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, and 3 tablespoons water in a food processor to a smooth paste. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of water, if needed. Thoroughly mix the paste into the pear mixture.

The fresh kimchi can be enjoyed immediately, or it can be kept in a container with a tight-fitting lid and kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Want more pear recipes? Visit our recipe page!

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Photography: George Barberis (@georgebarberis)
Recipe and Styling: Andrea Slonecker (@andreaslonecker)

Pear and Chicken Meatball Banh Mi Sandwiches

Spring is in the air so let’s look to fresh flavors from Asian herbs, lemongrass, ginger, and crunchy vegetables to highlight pears. In this new take on the popular banh mi sandwich, you’ll find ripe pears mixed into mini meatballs that are inspired by the flavorful flattened patties served at traditional banh mi stands throughout Vietnam. They also appear in a crunchy, quick-pickled mélange of pears and carrots that tops the sandwiches. The meatballs and tangy topping are tucked into individual baguettes and adorned with cucumbers, jalapeños, and vibrant herbs.

Serves 6 (Makes about 18 meatballs)

Ingredients: 

Pickled Pear and Carrot Topping

1 cup pears cut into 2-inch-by-1/8-inch sticks

1 cup carrots cut into 2-inch-by-1/8-inch sticks

1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken

3/4 cup peeled USA Pears cut in 1/4-inch dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced

2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, peeled, and tender inner core minced

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce

2 teaspoons sriracha

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, plus more as needed

Sandwiches

6 individual baguettes or 2 baguettes cut into 6 (8- to 10-inch-long) segments

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sriracha chile sauce

18 cucumber slices

2 to 3 thinly sliced jalapeño chiles

12 fresh cilantro sprigs

Fresh Thai basil leaves (optional)

Directions:

To make the topping: Toss all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days.

To make the meatballs: Combine all of the ingredients, except the sesame oil, in a medium bowl.

Heat the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook the meatball patties by scooping up heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture and dotting them around the pan at least 1-inch apart. Cook until nicely browned on the first side, then flip them over and sear on the second side until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Repeat to cook the remaining meat mixture, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

To make the sandwiches: Cut the baguettes in half lengthwise. Pull out some of the bread from the top half to make room for the fillings. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha. Spread the sriracha mayo on the cut sides of each baguette. Arrange the cucumber slices on the bottom halves. Add 3 meatballs to each, and top with the drained pickle topping, jalapeno slices, and herbs.

Want more pear recipes? Visit our recipe page!

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Photography: George Barberis (@georgebarberis)
Recipe and Styling: Andrea Slonecker (@andreaslonecker)

5 Pear Salads To Freshen Up Your Spring

When you think of spring, what comes to mind? Nourishment, freshness and rejuvenation may all describe it, and not just the season but also your diet and lifestyle. If you’re the type who hibernates all winter, then spring is ideal from coming out of your shell and embracing healthy choices and better eating habits before summer hits.

Besides their sweetness, pears make a great addition to salads as a way to elevate the nutritional value of the dish. One medium-sized pear packs 6 grams of fiber and contains zero sodium, fat or cholesterol, so you get all of the flavor and texture without the unhealthiness. Plus, when it comes salads, there are endless pear-ssibilities! We recommend kicking off spring with these five flavorful pear salads to suit any occasion.

1. Grilled and Fresh Pear Salad with Chile Oil and Togarashi

Try this flavorful Thai inspired salad with grilled and fresh pears for contrasting flavor and texture. The complex spice and chile blend to brighten a meal.

2. Warm Greens with Balsamic Lentils and Roasted Pears

Here is a hearty salad to warm and nourish you. Honey sweet roasted pears and tangy balsamic lentils are tossed with winter greens to make this simple and balanced meal. Serve the salad while still warm, but be sure to save the leftovers – this salad will be delicious straight from the refrigerator the next day after the flavors have continued to meld. If you desire a little more richness, try topping the salad with long curls of parmesan cheese.

3. USA Pear Super Simple Signature Salad

A classic salad suitable for a delicious, nutritious entree! The tangy crumbled blue cheese is delightfully offset by the sweet and juicy pear. Woodsy balsamic vinegar gives this salad further depth and hearty flavor. The greens can also be changed to spinach to give the salad extra nutrients. Roasted almonds or candied walnuts are good options with spinach.

4. Pear and Watercress Salad with Goat Cheese Gouda and Walnuts

This salad pairs sweet and juicy pears with peppery watercress and pungent cheese in a perfect blend to welcome spring to your dinner table.

5. Crunchy Vegetable and Pear Salad

This tasty salad is full of crisp, colorful vegetables and sweet Red Anjou Pears. Toss it with almond butter-based dressing (sweetened with dates instead of refined sugar), and enjoy it as a quick lunch or an easy dinner side.

Want more pear recipes? Visit our recipe page!

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Cast-Iron Skillet Roasted Pears with Hearty Whole-Grain Panzanella (Vegan)

A good cast-iron pan works wonders on pears. When just-ripe Anjous are cut in half and seared in a hot skillet then placed in the oven, it brings out a rich and roasty caramelized flavor that renders the pears entrée worthy. They take on depth of flavor and luscious texture to make them a deliciously satisfying substitute for meat, whether you practice a vegetarian or vegan diet, or are just looking to reduce the amount of meat you consume. Here the roasted pears are offered with a warm, whole-grain panzanella, that ubiquitous Italian bread salad usually involving fruity tomatoes and basil in the height of summer. Fruity roasted pears are a perfect alternative at the end of winter. Packed with hearty greens and chicories, olives, and a maple-scallion dressing, this recipe makes for a nutritious one-dish meal.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

6 ounces seedy whole-grain artisan bread, torn into bite-size pieces (about 4 packed cups)

4 to 6 USA Red Anjou pears

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced on a bias

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

4 packed cups torn radicchio leaves, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes and drained

2 packed cups baby kale or arugula leaves

3/4 cup green olives, smashed, pitted and very coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds

Directions:

Spread the torn bread on a large rimmed baking sheet and broil in the oven until lightly charred all over but still a little soft inside, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes (be careful not to let them burn!). Remove the croutons from the oven and set aside.

Switch the oven to preheat to 475˚F. Halve and core the pears and sprinkle the cut sides lightly with salt and pepper.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. When wisps of smoke appear, add the pears to the skillet in a single layer with cut sides down. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the pears are deeply browned and caramelized on the cut sides and very tender inside when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer the roasted pears to a platter and loosely tent with foil. Place the pan of hot pear drippings over medium heat and immediately whisk in 1 more tablespoon of the oil, the scallions, and garlic and cook briefly, until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vinegar, maple syrup, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the croutons, radicchio, kale or arugula, and olives. Pour in the warm dressing and toss very thoroughly. If needed, drizzle in a little more olive oil so that all ingredients are nicely coated. Serve the pears over the warm salad, garnished with plenty of the toasted almonds.

Want more pear recipes? Visit our recipe page!

Make sure to follow USA Pears on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all things pears!

Photography: George Barberis (@georgebarberis)
Recipe and Styling: Andrea Slonecker (@andreaslonecker)

Instant Pot Pear Oatmeal Jars

The Instant Pot, that magical cooking appliance that allows you to do everything from sautéing to pressure-cooking, is all the rage right now. I put it to use in the morning to cook steel cut oats in no time. What’s even better is that the oats can be combined with any variety of ripe USA Pears and cooked right in individual mason jars for the family on the go. After cooking, the jars are topped with a variety of toppings to jazz up this heart-healthy breakfast.

Makes 4 one-pint jars

Ingredients:

2 cups diced USA Pears

1 cup steel cut oats

1/4 cup chopped dried fruit, such as cranberries, cherries, dates, or raisins

6 tablespoons honey

8 teaspoons chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Sea salt

About 3 cups water

Topping Ideas:

Coconut Milk Yogurt or Greek Yogurt

Dried fruit

Toasted Coconut Flakes

Cacao Nibs

Directions:

In each of 4 pint-size mason jars, combine 1/2 cup of the pears, 1/4 cup of the oats, 1 tablespoon of the dried fruit, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the honey, 2 teaspoons of the chia seeds, 1/8 teaspoon each of the cardamom and ground ginger, and a pinch of salt. Pour about 3/4 cup water into each jar, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace. Screw on the tops and shake the jars vigorously to mix everything together. Loosen the lids slightly to allow steam to release as they cook.

Prepare the Instant Pot by placing a wire rack in the bottom and pouring in 1 cup of water. Place the jars on the rack and secure the top of the pot. Select high pressure and set the timer for 20 minutes.

When done cooking, allow the pressure to naturally release for at least 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. (Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use.) Open the pressure cooker and carefully remove the hot jars. Allow them to rest until the contents stop bubbling. Remove the lids using hot pads, being careful for steam. Stir each jar, then top as desired with the optional toppings. The oats can be served immediately or the lids can be put back on to serve them later.

Want more pear recipes? Visit our recipe page!

Make sure to follow USA Pears on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all things pears!

Photography: George Barberis (@georgebarberis)
Recipe and Styling: Andrea Slonecker (@andreaslonecker)

Keep Love In The Air With Chocolate and Pears

Love is in the air and few things are as enticing as the passionate relationship between chocolate and pears. These two foods may come from opposite worlds but when they meet, the chemistry is unmistakable and downright charming. The possibilities are truly endless with these two simple ingredients, and you don’t need to be a gourmet chef to pull off something delicious and creative. We can’t prove it, but we are pretty sure chocolate and pears will please pretty much anyone. As you think of the perfect way to please your Valentine, consider savoring the joyous relationship that is chocolate and pears with these five recipes.

1. Dark Chocolate Dipped Pears

Move over strawberries— there’s another fruit that tastes amazing when dipped in chocolate! Rich dark chocolate pairs perfectly with Red Anjou pears, which just so happen to be heart-check certified by the American Heart Association. Decorate your dipped pears with a variety of creative options for sprinkling, like nuts, coconut flakes, and even vivid red chile powder for a kick.

2. Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce with Walnuts

Simple to make and yet oh so elegant Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce with Walnuts are the pear-fect finishing touch to any dinner party.

3. Chocolate Pear Delight

This decadent dessert for two is disarmingly simple to prepare. Double it for dinner parties and turn dessert into a chocolate celebration!

4. Caramelized Pear and Chocolate Pizza

Pizza for dessert? Hey, it’s a pie, right? This one is layered with sweet caramelized pears and rich, dark chocolate. It’s a happy ending for any meal.

5. Hot Fudge Pear Sundae

This pretty sundae gets seasonal flavor from the addition of fresh pears. Add a different flavor of ice cream (peanut butter, rocky road, strawberry) to make it your own!

Want more pear recipes? Visit our recipe page!

Make sure to follow USA Pears on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all things pears!

5 Hearty Pear Soups to Warm Your Winter

Few things warm the body and soul like a bowl of soup in the wintertime. When it’s cold outside, soup can bring a sense of nourishment and comfort. The winter months also happen to be an ideal time to experiment in the kitchen since the frigid temperatures keep many of us inside. Pears may not be an ingredient that immediately comes to mind when you think of soup, but they can bring a unique flavor and texture to both sweet and savory soups. They’re also an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C, making them a nutritious and delicious ingredient. Whether sautéed with vegetables before stock is added, roasted and pureed to blend with stocks, or simply chopped and added to an already simmering broth, pears are a fun and tasty way to step up your soup game. These five soups will add plenty of warmth and sweetness to the winter months.

1. Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Bisque

Developed by chef Vitaly Paley of the acclaimed restaurant Paley’s Place in Portland, OR, this vegetarian soup is simultaneously simple and decadent. Rich flavors take center stage as the creaminess, heartiness and sweetness strike a heavenly balance with squash and pears getting a nice curry kick.

2. Mulligatawny Soup with Chicken, Pears and Coconut

This autumn-inspired version of Mulligatawny soup is sure to delight. Colorful pears, tender chicken, sweet potatoes and rich coconut milk star in this adaptation of a classic English soup with Indian origins. The recipe comes together in about 30 minutes for an easy weeknight dinner, and the leftovers taste even better! Top the soup with crunchy toasted coconut and bright, fresh cilantro leaves.

3. Roasted Pear and Delicata Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Simplicity is the key in this recipe with basic ingredients and cooking directions that are easy to follow. This velvety smooth soup can be made up to three days ahead of when you plan to eat it. Once it’s ready just cover, cool and refrigerate, warm it up just before serving whenever you’re ready! Homemade croutons make it a total crowd-pleaser too!

4. Pear and Sunchoke Soup with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Bacon

Sunchoke is a root vegetable also known as a Jerusalem artichoke because of its artichoke flavor. This recipe, developed by Ethan Stowell of Seattle’s Staple & Fancy, Tavoláta, How to Cook a Wolf and Anchovies & Olives, brings a sweet start to any meal with an unusual combination of ripe pears and sunchokes. Oh yeah…and bacon!

5. Pear and Sweet Corn Soup with Basil-Macadamia Pesto

Basil-macadamia pesto serves as a zesty compliment to the sweetness of the pear and corn soup. This is yet another recipe that is uncomplicated and quick to whip up, which makes it a satisfying dish to make for the family on those hectic weeknights. It’s also meatless and fairly low on oil!

Want more pear recipes? Visit our recipe page!

Make sure to follow USA Pears on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all things pears!

12 Creative Ways to Poach a Pear

How many ways can you poach a pear? There may not be a set answer when you consider that the pear-ssibilities are endless. The classic go-to seems to be red or white wine poached pears, which is definitely one of the prettiest and most decadent ways to poach. But when it comes to poaching, sometimes it’s worth it to think outside the pear box. Besides wine, pears can be poached in cider, bold and flavorful beers like stouts and Belgian ales, and even espresso, among other liquids. Restaurants love to impress diners with beautifully poached pear dishes because, besides being delicious, they are visually striking. Even though poached pears may look challenging to make, most recipes are easier than you might think.

December is National Pear Month and the time of year when all ten varieties of Northwest pears are in season. It also happens to be the holidays, making it the ideal time to test out your poaching skills and impress friends, family and party guests with these 12 creative poached pear recipes…

Spiced Anjou Pears

Even if you haven’t tried poaching a pear before, this is an easy recipe to get you started! Simplicity is key and the combination of spices and herbs makes for a dish that is sweet, refreshing, and totally festive.

Sweet Vermouth Poached Pears

Sweet vermouth has really made a comeback thanks to the craft cocktail movement, and we should all be glad it did. The distinct and wonderful flavors that a good vermouth can lend make classic cocktails like the Manhattan truly timeless, which is the same sentiment that went into this unique recipe. Pick up a bottle for making these poached pears and pour yourself a little over an ice cube to enjoy while you cook. You won’t be sorry.

TAZO Spicy Ginger-poached Pears

Berry or bright red teas make for a fruity twist in this recipe. Spoon any extra sauce over scoops of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, or serve as a syrup with hot pancakes or waffles.

Tropical Hibiscus Poached Pears

Most poached pear recipes rely on Bosc pears, but this recipe calls for Bartletts, which many consider to have the ‘classic’ pear flavor. That juicy and distinct pear flavor is only enhanced by this recipe’s poaching liquid, which consists of a tropically-flavored white wine, hibiscus flower tea, orange slices, and whole vanilla bean. The pears take on a lovely, light pink hue while bathing in the liquid, which reduces to a deliciously sweet and wonderfully unique sauce for serving.

Red Wine Poached Pear With Mascarpone and Candied Almonds

Did someone say dessert? Here’s another simple yet decadent recipe that is perfect for impressing a date or whipping up for your holiday guests. We all know that pears and cheese are delicious when served together, and with this recipe we get a beautiful mélange of sweet and creamy.

Poached Bosc Pears

Simple and delicious, poached Bosc pears retain their distinctive honey sweetness and are firm enough to maintain shape. Lightly used, spices can add their voice to this dessert, which can be served warm or chilled.

Pears Poached in Belgian-Style Beer

Poaching pears in wheat beer makes for a silky, mellow treat. This recipe is a great accompaniment to a cheeseboard with olives, crackers, and honey, perfect for starting off a meal.

Espresso and Cherry Poached Pears

Wake up your dessert offerings with these espresso and cherry poached pears. Sweet and smooth, they’re heavenly with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. It doesn’t hurt that they look like artwork on a plate.

Poached Pears with Vanilla Caramel Sauce Recipe

Although any firm pear will do, this recipe is perfect for long-necked Bosc pears as they hold their shape well during cooking. The combination of tangy, sweet and nutty is wonderfully divine.

Bourbon-Masala Poached Pears

Here’s a poached pear recipe for the whiskey lover, which combines bourbon and sweet Indian spices in the poaching liquid. The flavors are deepened thanks to a quick steep of the spices before the pears are added along with a reduction of the sauce as a finale. Serve these poached pears in their own rich sauce with a scoop of coconut gelato. They also make a complementary addition to our Ham and Goat Cheese Sandwich!

Creamy Coconut and Star Anise Poached Pears

In this recipe, coconut milk and star anise come together to create a simple but indescribably delicious sauce for classic poached pears. It can be dished up as a dessert, with the warm poached pears served with a drizzle of the coconut-anise poaching liquid atop, or, as in the following recipe, as a tasty protein-and-fiber-filled breakfast with the poached pear served over creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy granola.

Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce with Walnuts

Simple to make and yet oh so elegant! Poached pears in chocolate sauce with walnuts are the pear-fect finishing touch to any dinner party.

Want more pear recipes? Visit our recipe page!

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You can also enter to win a box of fresh USA Pears HERE!

Pear and Gouda Cheese Ball with Cranberries and Pecans

The all-American cheese ball is a throwback worth revisiting. Popular at holiday parties of yesteryear, today we take a fresh, lightened-up approach with the addition of pears. Swap the classic orange cheddar or crumbly blue for a nutty aged Gouda. The nuttiness plays well with both the sweet pears folded into the cheese mixture and the crunchy pecans that are sprinkled on the outside, while parsley and scallions add a savory bite. Perfect for an office gathering or a family affair, this pear-flecked cheese spread presents well in the shape of everyone’s favorite holiday fruit. And it’s deceptively easy to pull off, too.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

2 cups finely shredded aged Gouda cheese (about 6 ounces), at room temperature

1 ripe USA Anjou pear, peeled, cored (reserving the stem), and finely diced

1 green onion, white and light green parts only, minced

3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Nonstick cooking spray

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

3 tablespoons minced dried cranberries

Crostini or crackers, for serving

Directions:

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Gouda, pear, green onion, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, the salt, and pepper until well combined.

Coat a large piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray. Transfer the cheese mixture to the center of the plastic wrap and press and mold it into an oval disk. Tightly wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the pecans, and cranberries; set aside.

Remove the cheese disk from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and place it in the center of a serving platter. Use another piece of plastic wrap and your hands to mold the cheese mixture into the shape of a pear. Sprinkle with the pecan mixture to coat the top and sides evenly. Wipe the edges of the platter clean with a damp paper towel. Place the reserved pear stem in the top, and serve with crostini or crackers arranged around the edges of the platter.

Photography: George Barberis (@georgebarberis)
Recipe and Styling: Andrea Slonecker (@andreaslonecker)