We love Easter, and not just because varieties of pears such as the Green and Red Anjou happen to be shaped like an egg. We also love Easter because it is a wonderful reason to gather around the table with your loved ones and savor a delightful feast. Pears from the Northwest are still in season and just happen to complement so many dishes that fit right in on the Easter table, whether it be for brunch, dinner, or even dessert! Get all your pears in one basket with these perennially tasty pear dishes!
1. Savory Pear and Gruyere Tart
Who says a pear has to be for dessert? This recipe takes pear pastry in a savory direction by working in caramelized onions, nutty Gruyere, and a generous helping of peppery arugula. These ingredients collectively make a perfect counterpoint to sweet, tender, fresh pears. The result if plainly delicious. Using store-bought puff pastry takes much of the work out of making a tart and can cause even an entry level baker to feel like a pro. Serve this tart with a simple green salad on the side.
2. Pear-Fennel Gratin with Thyme and Gruyère
A gratin is the ultimate comfort dish, and it isn’t just for potatoes. Pears mixed with just about any vegetable can be baked in a blanket of creamy sauce and crunchy toppings. This combination of perfumed pears and fennel makes an ideal sidekick to a roast chicken, pan-seared salmon fillets, and other fish. Any variety of large pears will do in this recipe—juicier pears, like Anjous, will create a looser sauce in the pan, while Boscs offer a firmer and less sweet result. The splash of dry sherry gives an aromatic twist, but it is an optional addition.
3. Holiday Ham with Pear Relish
Grace your Easter table with this delicious smoky holiday ham, smothered in a savory, sweet pears, cucumber and pomegranate relish you’ll want it serve it more often than just on special occasions. The tangy relish is the perfect way to add a pear touch to your Easter meal and bring that classic ham from drab to fab.
4. Cast-Iron Skillet Roasted Pears with Hearty Whole-Grain Panzanella
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.
5. Brussels Sprout Hash with Pears and Crispy Bacon
Get your fill of Brussels while you can by roasting them into a delicious hash dressed up with crispy bacon and sweet pears. This easy recipe makes for a satisfying side dish. Simply cook the bacon lightly to render out the fat before tossing with the Brussels sprouts, then season and roast. At the last minute, add the beautiful pear chunks and the fresh thyme and warm through.
6. Anjou-Glazed Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice and Pear Dressing
This is your holiday showstopper, folks. If a crown roast of pork seems daunting, don’t let its splendor fool you. There’s no need to tie it up yourself, just ask the butcher to do the hard part for you, but be sure to order ahead. The pear glaze is brushed on toward the end of the cooking time, when the oven temperature is increased in order to caramelize the exterior, creating a beautifully lacquered crust. After roasting, the center is filled with a stovetop dressing of wild rice flecked with tender Anjou pears, toasty pecans, and generously seasoned with an herbaceous mix of parsley, sage, and rosemary. Present the crown roast at the table before carving, so guests can marvel at its magnificence.
7. Braised Pork with Pears and Sherry Vinegar
This simple and delicious pear and pork dish that makes an incredible Sunday dinner. First, sear the pork and sauté the onion. Then add pears, cider, and spices, and transfer to the oven for three hours. This recipe will fill your home with sweet smells as it simmers away all afternoon.
Part of the joy of Easter dinner is dessert, and you can never go wrong with pie. With Green Anjou pears as the start of the show, this pie is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It’s best to make the meringue just before you’re ready to serve the pie. If it’s made several hours ahead, the meringue will droop.
Besides their sweetness, pears make a great addition to salads as a way to elevate the nutritional value of the dish.LEARN MORE