The Everyday KitchenFood advice for a busy life
It's peak pear season. Compared to the height of summer, when stone fruit, cherries, melons and lychees are all in season, winter fruit can feel somewhat boring. However a ripe pear is a gorgeous thing.
At the moment, in my local fruit and veg shop you can choose from Packham's, Buerre Bosc, Winter Nelis, Corella, Josephine and Red Anjou. All pears, but all slightly different from each other.
Pears are at their best when ripe. While unripe pears are crispy, to me there is nothing like the flavour and juiciness that pears develop when ripe. They're generally sold un-ripe, so it's best to leave pears for a couple of days in your fruitbowl, before eating.
To work out when a pear is ready gently press the flesh around the stem - if the pear is ready to eat, the flesh will give just a little.
Pears are a delicious low GI fruit, which are full of flavour and fibre. They are perfect eaten as is, but pears can also be cooked and paired with both sweet and savoury meals.
- Pear and Fennel Soup. I'm pretty sure I've linked to this recipe before, but Ilva's soup is just brilliant. I replace the cream with a bit of sour cream, as I like the extra bit of tang it gives. A lovely, different and unusual way to use pears.
- Orchard Pear Muffins. Fantastic spiced up pear muffins. Tea from Tea and Cookies adapts one of Sophie Dahl's recipes, adding in walnuts and crystallised ginger for good measure. Lovely idea.
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears & Thyme. An intriguing savoury recipe. If you haven't tried Brussels roasted, then I would urge you to do so. They are simply delicious. Sweet, caramalised and tasty, with none of that revolting sulphur-like flavour which happens when Brussels are over-boiled.
- Ginger & Pear Crumble. I love this crumble recipe from Martha Rose Shulman. She uses an oat and quinoa topping, instead of the usual wheat flour mixture, which is both tasty and gluten free. The pears are sliced thinly and coupled with ginger, vanilla and lemon juice.
- Beetroot Salad with Feta & Pear. One of Jamie Oliver's creations, I cannot tell you how many times I have made (and enjoyed) this salad. It's crunchy, tangy and simple to make. Lovely as a lunch by itself, with a slice of wholegrain bread. Or you could also serve it with a simple steak or piece of fish.
How do you use pears?
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