Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Pears

The humble pear. Quintessentially British, and a trooper throughout the cold winter months, it's often overlooked in favour of apples, but has its own perfectly distinct flavour. In season from October through to March, they pair perfectly with other seasonal flavours ranging from chestnut and figs on the sweet side through to walnuts, game and dark leafy greens for savoury options. 

They're also an all-rounder on the cooking front - whether you poach, caramelise, roast or sauté, their distinct sticky sweetness is only further enhanced. Rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and copper, they're also a power house for fighting free radicals. They're also high in prebiotic fibre (great for the gut!) and are relatively low GI in comparison to other fruit, meaning that won't cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

 

RECIPE IDEAS

- Pears go really well with winter spices such as ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and star anise. Try slicing a pear and sprinkling with a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves then roasting in the oven for 10-15minutes. Serve with coconut yoghurt for an easy snack or dessert. 

- It’s also a wonderful porridge addition! Try grating pear and stirring it into your porridge alongside vanilla for a natural sweetness. 

- Poached pears are a simple yet effective dessert. Poach pears in anything from red wine to beetroot or ginger syrup and serve with coconut yoghurt for a hassle free dessert. 

- They also work incredibly well in tarts, frangipane’s and pies and can easily make a beautiful bake when sliced and layered on the top. 

- Pears aren’t limited to just sweet options either. Sliced pear can transform a salad instantly. Try adding to a mix of dark leafy greens, roast sweet potato slices and walnuts. 

- For a warm dish, pear goes really well with game such as duck, goose or pheasant. Roast the pear alongside other vegetables such as parsnips, carrots garlic bulbs and shallots and serve alongside the meat.

- Also try sautéing pair with a mixture of quinoa chard and red onion. De-seed an acorn squash and stuff with the mixture before baking.