Pass the Pears

While they may not get as much attention as their botanical cousin, the apple, pears can be a sophisticated seasonal addition to any diet. Like apples, pears have noteworthy fiber content (six grams, most of which is found in the skin), and they’re a good source of immune-supporting vitamin C. Pair pears with a warm bowl of oatmeal, a nutty salad, or a piece of Brie for a memorable meal; they can also be roasted, poached, or grilled for a sweet treat.

Old Gilman Grill’s Honey Roasted Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and White Balsamic Vinaigrette

By Executive Chef Michael Price | Serves 4

Chef Michael Price Old Gillman Grill chattanoogaIngredients

Vinaigrette

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. finely diced shallots

1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Roasted Pears

2 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Pinch of sea salt

2 medium ripe, but firm pears

1/4 cup water

Salad

8 oz. spring or mesclun salad mix

1/2 cup white balsamic vinaigrette

4 roasted pear halves, cut into slices

4 oz. crumbled Asher Blue cheese

2 oz. toasted pecan halves

Directions

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, shallots, and seasonings in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use, whisking again just before serving.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the honey, lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl. Halve and core the pears, and gently toss them in the mixture.

Arrange the pears cut-side down in a baking dish. Pour any remaining honey mixture over the top, then pour water into the bottom of the dish.

Roast pears for 20 minutes, then gently turn them over and spoon some of the cooking liquid on top. Continue roasting, basting the pears occasionally until they are tender and golden (about 20-30 minutes).

In a large mixing bowl, toss salad mix with the vinaigrette and a pinch of salt and ground pepper. Divide evenly onto four chilled salad plates. Layer pear slices onto the salad, followed by blue cheese. Sprinkle with pecan halves and serve.

Did you know?

There are more than 3,000 varieties of pears worldwide, but only a handful are grown in the United States – mainly in Oregon and Washington. We recommend Bartletts for snacking and canning, Anjous sliced fresh for salads, and Boscs for baking and poaching!

Susan Gilmore’s Turnips and Pears

Serves 4 as a side
Susan Gillmore chattanooga mature womanIngredients

3 turnips

3 firm pears

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 shallots, sliced thin

1 cup walnut halves

Salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

Fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, to taste (optional)

Chopped fresh parsley or sprigs of thyme, for garnish

Directions

Peel and cube the turnips. Core the pears, halve them, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Melt the butter in an iron skillet and sauté the turnips until golden and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Add the shallots and sauté for another minute. Add the pears and sauté, tossing the mixture several times, for another 3 minutes. Add the walnuts and sauté for another minute. Season with salt and pepper.

At this stage, if you like, drizzle with either fresh lemon juice or a rich balsamic vinegar. Garnish with chopped parsley or sprigs of fresh thyme. Serve and enjoy!

Susan Gilmore, a Southside resident, loves cooking and good food. Susan says, “I adapted this recipe from an entry in The New Basics Cookbook. It incorporates two very different favorites, pears and turnips, and makes for one very delicious dish!”

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