Move over, apples! Sweet, soft, luscious pears are coming into season now! There are so many fabulous ways to enjoy pears, both sweet and savory. We thought we’d share just three of our all time favorites. (Note: all recipes adapted from Food52.com).
Pears and Parmesan Cheese Crisps
Makes 10 to 12 frico cups
- 2 cups finely grated parmesan
- 1- 2 large Bartlett pears, cut into a fine dice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- On a silicone lined baking sheet or sheets place 2 tablespoons cheese about 2 inches apart. Flatten the cheese a bit to form circles about 3 inches.
- Bake at 350F for 4 to 6 minutes until the edges of each round are barely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Using a thin bladed spatula place each round over the underside of an upside down mini muffin pan. (or you can use shot glasses) Press to mold it around and then blot any excess oil that may form with a paper towel.
- Let the frico cups cool. In the meantime mix the honey with the diced pear.
- Divide the diced pear among the cups and serve immediately!
Pear Soup with Pancetta and Blue Cheese
Serves 4 to 6
- 5 ounces pancetta, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (around 1/2 inch)
- 1 medium-small carrot, cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 5 pears – I used bartlett – peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- crumbled blue cheese for serving
- salt and ground white pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, fry the pancetta bits until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
- Pour off all but one Tablespoon of the fat in the pot (you don’t want to use all of it because then it will overpower the pear), and add in the butter. Heat over medium until foaming. Then, stir in the onion, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. You basically want the onion to sweat and soften without browning.
- Stir in the garlic, potato, and carrot, cover again. Turn the heat to medium and cook another 10 minutes. Then, add in the maple syrup, pear, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, thyme, sage and nutmeg. Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes to get the pear all coated with the syrup and other flavors.
- Add in the broth, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook, covered, until the potatoes and pears are soft, about 15 minutes.
- Blend in batches until smooth. Then return the blended soup to the pot and stir in the creme fraiche. Taste and add salt and white pepper to taste.
- Serve with the pancetta bits and blue cheese for sprinkling on top.
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pears, Gorgonzola and Crunchy Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Toss pumpkin seeds with the other ingredients and spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until crispy (but don’t let them burn; cover with foil if necessary), tossing every 10-15 minutes.
Make the Brussels sprouts
- 2 slices bacon, preferably preservative-free
- 4 cups Brussels sprouts (about 20-25 medium sized sprouts)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 pear, sliced
- 1/4cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- Clean and remove any wilted leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Trim the bottoms and slice the Brussels sprouts in half. Set aside.
- In a cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat. When crispy on both sides, remove to drain and cool on a paper towel. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- Add the Brussels sprouts to the hot pan with the bacon fat. Allow them to cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring every now and then, so that all the edges start to get crispy (don’t let them overcook on the outside before the insides have a chance to finish cooking, though). Add the brown sugar, stir it in, and cook over low heat for a minute or two more. Taste one of the Brussels sprouts and make sure it is cooked through. If not, cook a minute or two more.
- Remove from the heat and add the sliced pears and cheese. Crumble and add the bacon. Mix everything well.
- Mix in the pumpkin seeds, if using, and spoon on to a serving dish. If not using pumpkin seeds, sprinkle with some coarse sea salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Do you have any favorite ways to enjoy pears? We’d love to hear about ’em!