You may be used to poaching or baking pears for a quick dessert, but this sweet, humble fruit is also at home in main dishes, muffins, appetizers, and even soup.
- Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Mindi Shapiro
Go Beyond Poached PearsIn these tasty dishes, crisp, cool pears are the perfect "pair" (pun intended) for braised pork, sweet potatoes, walnut muffins, a ginger-brandy cocktail, and so much more.
Braised Pork with Pears and ChilesBraising is an easy way to take budget-friendly cuts of meat, such as pork shoulder, from tough to tender. Simply brown the pork in a large oven-proof pot, then bake for a couple of hours in a mixture of white wine, chicken broth, garlic, lemon juice, and chiles. Once the pork is fork tender, add the pear slices to the pot and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Gingered Pear and Brandy CocktailIf you're looking for an alternative to traditional holiday party cocktails, check out this spicy-sweet cognac concoction. Flavorful fresh ginger is a great complement to the sweet pear juice. For extra special presentation, serve with a lemon rind twist.
Pear and Walnut MuffinsThese low-fat muffins feature diced pears and chopped walnuts. Whole-wheat flour makes these muffins extra filling; they're perfect for an on-the-go breakfast or after-school snack.
Red Pepper-and-Pear SoupThink pears don't belong in soup? Think again. This simple, top-rated soup features sliced red bell peppers, carrots, shallots, and pears simmered in chicken broth and seasoned with red pepper, black pepper, and salt. At just over 100 calories per serving, it's not only a delicious choice for dinner, it's a healthy one, too.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pears and MarshmallowsThis fresh twist on a favorite Thanksgiving side features Bosc pear slices layered with the sweet potatoes. Top with mini marshmallows and broil for a minute or two for an ooey-gooey topping.
Puffed Pear PancakeThis puffed pear pancake is delicious served for a sweet, decadent breakfast or simple dessert. Place cinnamon and sugar-covered pear slices in a preheated and buttered cast-iron skillet and pour the homemade batter on top, then bake until puffed up and golden brown.
Pears with Blue Cheese and ProsciuttoRoll up pear wedges, blue cheese, and sliced prosciutto in an arugula leaf for an easy-breezy, no-cook appetizer that's elegant enough for the fanciest dinner parties.