An Easy Way to Smoke Pears

Yes, you can smoke fruit! There are a variety of methods for smoking foods, from using a dedicated outdoor hot smoker, to DIY cold smoking in your oven, but this technique for infusing pears with smoky flavor is as easy as they come. All you need is a charcoal grill, wood chips, and a disposable aluminum pan—no special equipment required and no risk of setting off the smoke alarm in your kitchen. The truly exceptional thing about this technique is that you don’t even have to get the grill out just to smoke the pears since the pears are added to the grill after it’s used to cook something else, when the coals turn to embers. So while your family enjoys a late-summer meal on the patio, the residual heat still emitting from the grill is just enough to delicately Continue reading

5 Recipes to Pear Up For Better Breakfast Month

September is Better Breakfast Month, which means it’s the perfect time to make eating a healthy breakfast a priority in your daily routine. This month also happens to be when sweet and juicy Northwest pears are in season and available at grocery stores everywhere. One medium-sized pear contains 6 grams of fiber and only 100 calories, so it will keep you full without loading you with sugar and fat. Besides being nutritious, pears are incredibly versatile as an ingredient and this is especially true when it comes to whipping up a wholesome breakfast! From oatmeal to smoothies, pears are a delicious way to step up your game for Better Breakfast Month. 1. 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. Continue reading

Pear Pasta Salad

pear pasta salad

Potlucks and picnics are upon us! This portable pear recipe adds a sweet twist to the perennial favorite: pasta salad. With a flavor-packed combination of just-ripe USA Pears complemented by salty salami, tart pickled peppers, fresh mozzarella, and crunchy cucumbers, it’s sure to surpass any pre-made offering you’d find at the deli counter. Plus, a lightened-up version of the classic creamy dressing, substituting Greek yogurt for mayonnaise, makes for a healthier summer feast. Serves 8 to 10 Ingredients: Dressing 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 cloves garlic, minced 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano Salad 1 pound dried short pasta, such as fusilli, rotini, or farfalle 2 firm but ripe red USA pears, cut into bite Continue reading

Pulled Pork and Pear Tacos with Pear Pico de Gallo

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 Continue reading

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 Continue reading

5 Tips for Plant-Powering Your Eating Style

Plant-based eating is hot, hot, hot! More and more people are turning away from the traditional American plate – with a slab of meat at the center – towards a gorgeous, colorful, plant-centric plate filled with pulses (beans, lentils, peas), whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. No wonder this eating style is catching on—it’s downright delicious! From a whole grain bowl filled with chickpeas, pears and sunflower seeds, to a homemade veggie burger with avocado slices, there are so many delicious offerings. A plant-based diet doesn’t mean that you have to give up meat altogether if you don’t want to; it just means that your diet focuses mostly on plants. This flexitarian eating style is linked with a boatload of benefits, such as lower risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and obesity, as well Continue reading

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 Continue reading

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 Continue reading

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: Continue reading

Chocolate Pear Hand Pies

I had heard rumblings about the glory of pairing pears and chocolate in pie. I mean, they’re both two delicious things, so how could it not be amazing? I also loved how portable these hand pies are. They’re so easy to just hold in your hand and completely devour in five seconds while watching Netflix with bae (or by yourself…any situation really). Some ingredient notes: I used a combination of Bartlett and Bosc pears. For chocolate, I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but if you have some REALLY good chocolate laying around (like some Valrhona discs…) you should totally go for it. TREAT YO-SELF! Ingredients: Crust (crust recipe adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds) 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp sea salt 1 tbsp sugar 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1-inch pieces) 1 cup cold water 1/4 cup Continue reading