About Hilary

I'm a personal chef and recipe writer here as well as at tummyrumblr.com. I grew up in Oregon where I ran, hiked, looked out over great distances, and fell in love with all of the beautiful produce this great state has to offer. I've worked as a caterer, a farmer, a pizza tosser, a line cook, a dishwasher, and a cooking school instructor. I'm thrilled to be writing for USA Pears because it gives me the opportunity to learn much more about all of the different and distinct pear varieties that are grown here in my favorite part of the world.

Pear Compote with Earl Grey & Vanilla

This super simple compote is a beautiful and delicious way to preserve some of fall’s fading flavors. You’ll make a simple infusion which combines the unique flavor of Earl Grey tea with vanilla and orange, and then simply stir in sugar and fresh pears. Serve this compote over yogurt or ricotta for a delightful breakfast or snack, spoon it over vanilla ice cream, or try it atop crostinis spread with your favorite soft cheese. Pear Compote with Earl Grey & Vanilla Ingredients 1 cup boiling water 2 Earl Grey tea bags 1 orange 1 tablespoon vanilla paste ¾ cup sugar 3 firm ripe USA Pears, such as Comice or Red Anjou, small dice Directions Place the tea bags into the cup of boiling water and steep for 2 to 3 minutes to make a very strong tea. Remove the teabags Continue reading

Sweet Vermouth Poached Pears

Sweet vermouth has really made a comeback thanks to the craft cocktail movement, and I am so glad it did. Without it, I’d have never tried a Manhattan and noticed the distinct and wonderful flavors that a good vermouth can lend, not to mention that I’d have never come up with the idea for 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. Sweet Vermouth Poached Pears Ingredients 3 cups good quality sweet vermouth, such as Carpano Antica 1 cup water 2 tablespoons honey 1 orange, peel only (use a vegetable peeler to cut several thin strips) 2 cinnamon sticks 6 whole cloves 3 firm USA Pears, such as Bosc Greek yogurt, for serving Directions In a medium saucepan, Continue reading

Creamy Gouda and Pear Risotto

If you haven’t yet made risotto part of your regular dinner repertoire, this recipe will help to change your mind. While it’s true that risotto requires a little bit of attention, it’s the perfect match for roasted meats, which require almost no attention at all. Try this creamy version, packed with the fall flavor of pears and spiked with aged Gouda cheese (you know, the one with those delicious cheese crystals), alongside the simplest roasted chicken. You won’t be sorry! Ingredients 4 cups (1 box) chicken or vegetable broth 2 tablespoons butter 3 medium shallots, small dice 1 cup arborio rice ½ cup dry white wine 4 ounces aged Gouda, such as Beemster Vlaskass 1 firm ripe USA pear, halved, cored, and very thinly sliced Salt and pepper Directions Pour the broth into a medium saucepan, cover, and bring to Continue reading

Delicata Squash, Pear, Arugula, and Pomegranate Salad

Here is an elegant, seasonal, and colorful first course for your Thanksgiving meal. Sweet roasted delicata squash rings make the perfect base for filling with this bright salad of arugula and thinly sliced pears. Drizzled with a creamy toasted pecan dressing and sprinkled with jewel-like pomegranate seeds, this salad will please everyone invited to your table this holiday season. Ingredients Creamy Toasted Pecan Dressing ½ cup pecan halves, toasted 1 tablespoon honey 2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup neutral oil, such as sunflower oil Salad 1 large delicata squash 1 tablespoon olive oil ¼ teaspoon salt 1 firm ripe USA Pear, such as Green Bartlett or Concorde ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 6 ounces baby arugula ¼ cup pomegranate seeds Directions For the Continue reading

Chai-Spiced Baked Oatmeal with Poached Pears

Ingredients 2 cups milk 2 chai tea bags 2 large eggs PLUS 2 egg yolks ⅓ cup packed brown sugar 1 cup heavy whipping cream ⅛ teaspoon salt 1 ¼ cups old-fashioned oats 1 firm ripe USA pear, such as Bosc or Anjou For garnish 1 ripe USA pear, such as Concorde or Anjou ½ cup fresh berries, such as raspberries or blueberries Directions Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat until steaming. Add the teabags, cover, and steep for 5 minutes. In the meantime, combine the eggs and yolks in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly with a fork. Once the tea has infused the milk, remove and discard the teabags. Add the brown sugar to the hot milk and stir to dissolve. Next, add the cold whipping cream, Continue reading

Autumn Panzanella Salad with Pears, Butternut Squash, and Hearty Walnut Bread

Based loosely on a traditional panzanella salad which combines garden fresh tomatoes with crusty bread to soak up the juices, this savory autumn panzanella features ripe, in-season pears, roasted butternut squash, and hearty walnut bread. Serve this salad throughout the fall and winter while pears and squash are abundant. It will also make a delicious and colorful addition to your Thanksgiving table. Ingredients 1 small butternut squash, cut into ½-inch cubes (to yield 4 cups of cubed squash) 2 large shallots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices 3 tablespoons olive oil for roasting squash PLUS 2 tablespoons for the salad Salt and pepper 4 cups cubed whole grain walnut bread from your favorite bakery ¼ cup dried cranberries 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons real maple syrup 2 firm ripe USA Pears, such as Bosc or Red Anjou, medium dice Continue reading

Pear, Carrot, and Coconut Muffins

Here is a fun fall take on the classic morning glory muffin, a popular recipe published in Gourmet Magazine back in the 1980s. These muffins are chock-full of fruit, vegetables, and nuts, making them hearty and filling, but they retain a soft, light texture, as any great muffin should. They will keep very well in the refrigerator and reheat wonderfully thanks to their high moisture content. If you prefer your muffins warm from the oven, you can even mix up a batch and bake off just a few at a time, saving the remaining batter for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Ingredients 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 ½ cups finely shredded carrot (about 2 medium carrots) Continue reading

Barbecue Pork, Pear, and Cheddar Quesadilla

Here is a quick quesadilla recipe that makes great use of leftover pork, ripe autumn pears, and cheddar cheese. The combination of these three ingredients is so delicious, it just might become your favorite afternoon snack. These quesadillas are a great use of leftover ribs from your favorite barbecue joint. If you’ve never made your own barbecue sauce, try your hand at Pear Barbecue Sauce with Chiles and Spice to use for this recipe and double the pear punch! Ingredients 6 ounces cooked, shredded pork 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, plus more for dipping 4 flour tortillas (8-inch size) 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated 1 large, ripe USA Pear, such as Bartlett or Anjou, sliced Cilantro, chopped, for garnish Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the shredded pork with the barbecue sauce and microwave for 1 ½ – 2 Continue reading

Grilled Chicken, Pear, and Avocado Toasts

This recipe takes two of everyone’s favorite things, pears and avocados, and combines them to create a beautiful and satisfying meal or snack. A nice alternative to a mayonnaise-based chicken salad, this recipe uses mashed avocado and lemon to bring the ingredients together. Enjoy these open-faced sandwiches for lunch or divide the topping between slices of toasted baguette and arrange them on a platter for an elegant appetizer. Ingredients 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts) 1 tablespoons olive oil Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper 1 large or 2 small avocados 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon) 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced 2 firm ripe USA Pears, such as Bartlett, thinly sliced 6 – 8 slices artisan bread, toasted Micro greens, for garnish Directions Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle the chicken Continue reading

Kale, Cabbage, and Pear Slaw with Citrus Dressing

Here is a quick fruit and vegetable slaw with a sweet and tangy dressing. This slaw makes an ideal side dish for a simple summer dinner of grilled fish or chicken, but it will also transition well into the fall as a bright and fresh side for roasted meat. This recipe is the perfect use for slightly under-ripe pears—they will add a unique texture and flavor to this colorful slaw. Ingredients Dressing ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other neutral-flavored oil) Salad 1 small bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and shredded 1 small head red cabbage, cored and shredded 4 scallions, thinly sliced 2 firm USA Pears, such as Bosc, cored and thinly sliced ¼ cup chopped almonds Directions For the dressing: Combine all Continue reading