During Fall and Winter, it seems like there's a different variety of pear to enjoy every day of the week. With warmer weather peeking around the corner, now's the time to celebrate the plump fruit, which is packed with antioxidants, minerals, and fiber to help aid in digestion, boost your immune system, and strengthen bones. Read on for eight versatile pear recipes to make now!
Has wintry weather left you with a nasty case of cabin fever? This fruity and floral cocktail is the cure — at least it was for me. I recently made a trip to Tahoe with the intent to spend a few days hitting the slopes, neglecting one crucial factor: checking the weather report. The thing is, it had just snowed heavily the week before, and it had been raining all week in San Francisco (which generally shares similar weather patterns), so it was a logical assumption that the mountains would be blanketed in blissfully fresh powder.
Instead, we were faced with four days of 34°F rain, ice, and sleet. Now, it would have been easy to let this tank morale, but instead we took the high road (literally) up a winding mountain route for a blowout meal at Manzanita in the Tahoe Ritz-Carlton. As one would expect (or at least hope), the whole meal was excellent, but it was this simple yet elegant predinner cocktail that stole the show.
Bright, effervescent, and subtly spiced from the crucial addition of Hangar One Spiced Pear Vodka, it danced around my head for weeks afterward. Naturally I had to attempt to hack it at home. And while this isn't an exact replica of that tantalizing tipple, I came pretty close; I hope it will brighten your day as much as it did mine.
Inspired by Manzanita
Sparkling Pear and Elderflower Cocktail
Ginger beer is an excellent (though less potent) substitute for the Champagne in this cocktail.
1 1/2 ounces Hangar One Spiced Pear Vodka
1/2 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Brut Champagne or dry sparkling wine, chilled
Lemon twist, for garnish
- Combine the pear vodka, St. Germain, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker becomes frosty, then strain into a Champagne flute or coupe.
- Top off with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
Makes one cocktail.
What's better than a plain grilled cheese sandwich? A grilled cheese sandwich with three kinds of cheese and caramelized pears and onions! This amazing recipe is another one from the book I'm currently obsessed with, Grilled Cheese Please! The thing that makes this sandwich so special is the butter: it's mixed with blue cheese before being slathered on the outside of the bread.
I've made it twice; once in a panini and another time on the stove, and I found that it works better in a sauté pan. When it cooked in the panini, everything oozed out the sides. Whatever way you cook it, this sandwich is absolutely delicious and I highly recommend you try it — it's perfect for meatless Mondays! Check out the recipe after the break.
You shouldn't be afraid to take a recipe and make it your own. Here, Annie Scudder proves how easy it is to adapt a pizza dish.
I came across this pear and bacon pizza on YumSugar and decided to make a vegetarian version. I ended up making up my own recipe! On top of a Boboli crust (perfect for a weekday meal!), I spread a mixture of feta, ricotta, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Then I added caramelized onions, thinly sliced pears, a few more sprigs of rosemary, and some crumbles of blue cheese. I baked it until it the crust felt crispy and the cheese looked gooey. Drizzled it with olive oil and served it with a simple salad and some Beaujolais Nouveau.
Cranberries are a staple for this time of year, but I always like to try something different from the traditional cranberry sauce. My suggestion? Skip serving them in a bowl and use them in a stellar mostarda-topped crostini appetizer. Mostarda is a traditional Italian condiment that combines sweet cooked fruit with a savory mustard sauce; it's often served with meat, which would make it perfect for topping pork or turkey. I was ready to try something new, so I baked up some crostini and topped them with a triple-creme goat brie, finishing with a spoonful of flavorful mostarda. Trust me: you won't miss cranberry sauce once you start popping these tasty apps. Keep reading for the recipe.
For your best Thanksgiving ever, be sure to end your meal on a high note with a memorable dessert. As an alternative to pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan pies, offer up a pear tart as well. Unlike other structured fruit cakes and tarts, this pastry — pleated in a free-form manner that's commonly seen in France — is beautiful in an unfussy way. It's also incredibly easy to make, requiring little more than flour, fruit, butter, sugar, and eggs. For the recipe, read more.
In the Fall, when the pears are plentiful, I enjoy experimenting with new pear preparations. Doesn't this one for a pear pizza sound scrumptious and interesting? It's not a sweet dessert pie, but a savory entree that makes for a delicious dinner. The other toppings include brown-sugar-coated bacon, cream cheese, green onions, feta cheese, and fresh basil. Each ingredient provides a different texture that gives the pizza depth, complexity, and richness. Sliced into smaller pieces, it would be an excellent appetizer.
I'm betting this recipe's a winner, so learn how it's made after the jump.
When I was little, my mom used to make me child version grasshoppers. For those of you that don't know what that is, it's heaven in a glass. Imagine a mint chocolate chip ice cream blended to perfection and served up cold and frosty. Now imagine that same smoothie gives you fiber, iron, manganese, potassium, and all sorts of powerful vitamins. I've got one that can do just that. OK, OK . . . it won't taste like the grasshopper, but it's minty, refreshing and oh so good for your body. Another recipe from Green For Life, this green smoothie brings nutrition to the forefront without leaving the taste buds far behind.
Filling, fresh and simple!
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You can thank the asparagus & leek tart for this treat. The original pie crust (pate brisee) recipe makes two crusts (I halved it for the posted recipe), so I had extra dough sitting in the fridge. I brushed over it a couple of times, thinking I'd probably make another quiche and freeze it. But then I noticed my fruit bowl, holding two very ripe pears, and two dusky apples, and well...a tart was born.
See how her dessert comes together when you read more.