Pear Breakfast Popovers

Here is an elegant and delicious breakfast recipe that is incredibly easy to make. The simple batter is whipped up in the blender and poured into a muffin tin filled with warm, cinnamon-spiced pears. Just 25 minutes in the oven and the popovers become light, fluffy, and irresistibly golden brown. Make a double batch and freeze the extras in a heavy-duty zipper bag. Just pop them into a hot oven for a few minutes to reheat for a quick breakfast. Ingredients ¼ cup (half a stick) butter 2 firm ripe USA Pears, such as Green Anjou or Bosc, medium dice ½ teaspoon cinnamon 3 eggs 1 cup milk ½ teaspoon vanilla 1 cup flour ⅛ teaspoon salt Maple syrup for serving Directions Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium bowl, about 30 Continue reading

Tangy Braised Cabbage with Pears

Here is a great side dish for winter dinner menus. If it has never occurred to you to use cabbage for anything other than coleslaw, give this recipe a try. The cabbage becomes wonderfully tender as it cooks, and the tanginess from the balsamic vinegar alongside the sweetness of the pears is really a thing to behold. This dish is excellent alongside a whole roasted chicken or with Braised Pork with Pears and Sherry Vinegar. Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 1 medium sweet onion, halved, peeled, and cut into thin half-rings 1 medium head red cabbage, cored and cut into approximately 2 inch pieces Salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ cup dry white wine 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 bay leaf 2 firm ripe USA Pears, such as Bosc or Anjou Directions Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot Continue reading

Spice-Roasted Chicken and Pears

Here is a satisfying cold-weather main dish with a short prep time. Ripe pear slices and warming spices add a new twist to a classic roasted chicken dinner. Serve this dish with a pot of steamed Basmati rice and simple salad (dressed with Pear and Roasted Carrot Vinaigrette, perhaps?). Ingredients One 3.5 – 4 pound roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds 6 whole cloves 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half 4 – 8 dried Thai bird chiles, crushed (or substitute a few pinches of chili flakes) 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1 teaspoon coarse salt 2 tablespoons canola oil 2 firm ripe USA Pears, such as Red Anjou or Bartlett, cut into 8 – 10 slices each Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the Continue reading

Savory-and-Sweet Pear, Ham, and Gruyere Strata

This delicious savory-and-sweet strata is the ideal recipe for this holiday season. It’s so versatile that it can act as the main course or a side dish for any meal—breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Ham, gruyere cheese, and fresh thyme add a rich, savory element, and pears and real maple syrup add a subtle sweetness that creates the perfect balance. Put this together the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning for an easy but elegant brunch to feed the whole family. Ingredients Butter for greasing pan 2 ½ cups half and half 6 large eggs ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon orange zest (from about half an orange) ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup 10 loose cups good-quality, artisan bread, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes (from one small loaf) ⅓ pound Continue reading

Pear-Infused Vodka and Chai Cocktail

Here is an elegant and delicious cocktail for you to enjoy this holiday season. You’ll need to infuse the vodka at least 10 days in advance, so be sure to grab some pears on your next trip to the grocery store! I recommend buying a mix of colorful pears for this recipe – the skins will turn your vodka a lovely honey-rose color as the flavor infuses. Then make a simple syrup with chai tea and shake up this sweet-and-spicy cocktail. If you find cocktails like this too strong for your liking, try dividing a single recipe between 3 or 4 champagne flutes and topping with a dry, sparkling wine. You’ll get all the wonderful flavor with much less alcohol. Cheers! Ingredients Pear-Infused Vodka 5 firm ripe USA pears, such as Starkrimson, Green or Red Bartlett, Comice, or Anjou 1 Continue reading

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Pears, Radicchio, and Brown Butter

Here is a simple weeknight pasta dish full of fall’s flavors and colors. The sweetness of the ripe pears plays wonderfully together with the bitterness of the radicchio. Adding tangy, rich Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (get the real stuff for this recipe!) takes the dish to a whole new level. Serve this pasta as a meal in and of itself, or use it as a side dish for a simple roasted chicken. Ingredients 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti 1 tablespoon salt 6 tablespoons salted butter 1 head radicchio, cored and cut into 2 inch pieces 2 ripe USA Pears, such as Green Bartlett or Starkrimson, sliced ⅓ cup chopped hazelnuts 3 ounces (about 1 cup very loosely packed) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese Directions Place the pasta water on to boil, adding 1 tablespoon of salt to the cooking water. Once the water boils, add the spaghetti Continue reading

Pear, Roasted Carrot, and Ginger Quinoa Pilaf

Fall is in the air, and all types of fresh pears are arriving at local grocers. This pear and quinoa pilaf makes a healthy and filling side dish or lunch. I love finding new ways to use quinoa, and roasted carrots and ginger make a wonderful savory contrast to the honey sweetness of the pears in this dish. Try this recipe with small and colorful Seckels if you can find them, but if not, any firm-ripe pear will do! Ingredients 2 cups multicolored carrots, medium dice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 1 ¼ cups vegetable broth 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated Half an orange, zest and juice 6 firm-ripe Seckel USA Pears (or substitute 2 large pears), sliced or diced ¼ cup roasted and salted pistachios Salt and freshly ground black pepper Directions Preheat the oven to Continue reading

Pear, Fig, and Salami Salad

This salad of pears, figs, greens, salami, and cheese is full of subtle flavors that celebrate transition from summer to fall in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy it with simple pork chops cooked on the grill or a lovely fillet of roasted salmon. Ingredients Dressing ¼ cup fresh orange juice (from about half an orange) 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard ½ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon toasted almond oil 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil Salad 4 cups baby arugula, packed 2 heads Belgian endive, halved lengthwise and sliced into ½ inch strips 10 – 12 fresh figs, halved or quartered 2 ripe USA Pears, such as Red Bartlett or Starkrimson, sliced 3 oz. mild salami, cut into ¼ inch cubes (or salami slices, cut into strips) ¼ cup ricotta salata cheese, crumbled Directions For the dressing: Combine the first Continue reading

Pear and Pineapple Green Smoothie

Looking for a smoothie that combines both fruits and vegetables and still tastes delicious? Look no further! This recipe includes a full cup of spinach and several sprigs of brightly-flavored cilantro. These flavors are balanced by the honey-sweetness of pear and the tanginess of pineapple. Add refreshing coconut water as a base, and you’ve created the perfect green smoothie. Ingredients 1 ripe USA Pear, such as Anjou, Bartlett, Concorde, or Comice, cored and cut into large chunks 1 ½ cups cubed pineapple 1 packed cup spinach 10-12 sprigs fresh cilantro 1 cup cold coconut water Directions Place all of the ingredients into a blender and puree at high speed until smooth. prep time: 5 minutes yield: 2 servings Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

Pear Bread with Brown Butter and Cardamom

Got ripe pears? This pear bread recipe is simple to make and uses ingredients you probably already have on hand. The loaf is lightly spiced with cardamom and made moist and sweet with the addition of two ripe USA Pears. Browning the butter in a small saucepan before mixing up the batter gives this bread a wonderfully nutty flavor. Enjoy it as an easy breakfast, pack it into lunchboxes, or have a slice with a cup of afternoon tea. Ingredients ¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks) ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 ripe USA Pears, such as Anjou or Bartlett 1 ⅔ cups all purpose flour ¾ teaspoon cardamom 2 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt Directions Place the butter into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter begins to sizzle, cook for Continue reading