Pear-fectly Packaged

The shelves of the produce departments are changing, and so is how we buy fruits and veggies. While many are looking for less packaging to reduce waste, others want convenience: pre-washed, pre-cut, ready-to-go.  For me, the decision depends on each individual item, how many people I need to feed, and how long the shelf life needs to be!

This season in New Zealand, pear sales increased thanks to new packaging. In this case, the design attracted attention and also gives us the opportunity to teach shoppers about how to tell when a pear is ripe (Check the Neck – but if you’re a frequent reader here at The Pear Dish, you already knew that, right?) and share a recipe.

Pear, Parmesan & Watercress Salad

4 Anjou Pears

100 g (3.5 oz) watercress

60 g (2 oz) parmesan

2 lemons

100 ml (1/2 c) olive oil

40 g (1.5 oz) walnuts (roasted)

1. Grate 2 pears into a bowl.

2. Cut 2 pears into 8 wedges and remove cores and add to the grated pear.

3. Squeeze juice of two lemons onto the pears and add olive oil. Toss.

4. Add watercress. Season and toss.

5. Place on platter and sprinkle with walnuts and shaved parmesan. Serve.

Pear and Watercress Salad

In New Zealand, one of the most popular ways to enjoy USA Pears is in a salad.  Simple, classic, and delicious!  Our Kiwi friends sent me this enticing recipe and gorgeous photo – I can’t wait to whip up this combo.  I’ve even converted the measurements from metric to make this salad truly effortless to try at home!  As always, you can find more pear salad, ahem, pear-ings in the recipe section of usapears.org.

Pear Watercress Salad

Pear and Watercress Salad

4 USA Green Anjou Pears
3 1/2 oz watercress
2 oz goat cheese gouda
2 lemons
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 oz walnuts

Grate 2 pears into a bowl.  Cut remaining 2 pears into 8 wedges each, removing the core, then add to bowl.  Squeeze juice of 2 lemons onto the pears and add olive oil.  Toss, then add watercress and season with salt and pepper as desired.  Place on plate and sprinkle with walnuts and shaved goat cheese gouda.  Serve and enjoy!

Serves: 4

Dinner Party, Anyone?

Featured Chef Stephen WardEntertaining this weekend?  Courtesy of Pear Panache Chef Stephen Ward of O’Connell Street Bistro in Auckland, New Zealand, you can serve up a gourmet meal with an international flair. Chef Ward’s elegant recipe is sure to impress your guests!

You can check out other mouth-watering recipes from our honored culinary professionals at PearPanache.com.  Click here to see our internationally-featured chefs and their recipes from around the world!

Seared Whangamata Scallops, Pear & Vanilla Puree, Snow Pea Tendrils and Chorizo Oil

pears and scallops recipe

Serves 4

32 fresh Whangamata or sea scallops, cleaned

Pear and Vanilla Puree
2 Anjou pears, peeled, cored and diced into pieces of equal size
100 ml (3.5 ounces) dry white wine
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 bay leaf
Pinch salt

Chorizo oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
50 g (1 3/4 ounces) chorizo sausage
150 ml (5 ounces) canola or vegetable oil
150 ml (5 ounces) olive oil
Fresh snow pea tendrils

To make the pear puree, place the ingredients in a non reactive saucepan and simmer over medium low heat until the pears are soft. Remove the vanilla bean pod and bay leaf, strain off the liquid and set aside. Puree the pears in a blender using the cooking liquid to make a smooth puree and achieve the proper consistency, slightly thinner than ketchup.

To make the chorizo oil, place the ingredients in a small pan and heat gently. Remove pan from the heat before the oil reaches a simmer. Set aside and allow to infuse. Strain when cool.

To assemble the dish, lightly season the scallops and sear in a hot pan, about 1 minute per side. Place a cluster of pea tendrils in the center of a plate and a spoonful of pear puree on either side of it. Use the back of a spoon to smear it in an irregular line from rim to rim. Arrange 4 scallops on top of each smear of puree. Drizzle all over with chorizo oil.

A Simple Summer Salad from NZ

Back in October, USA Pears were featured in a summer salad promotion in New Zealand. Lucky for us here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer has just arrived, and a fresh USA Pear salad is refreshing addition to the season’s menu!

Here are our Kiwi friends enjoying the simple summer salad recipe below:

NZ Summer Salad

Pear SaladMake a balsamic dressing by whisking 5 Tbsp olive oil with 1 Tbsp aged balsamic and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toast ½ cup almonds in oven until lightly browned, then cool and chop. Put a handful of salad leaves into a bowl, add ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese, toss with enough dressing to coat the leaves. Slice (don’t peel) one Anjou pear and add to the salad. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top. Serve and enjoy!

Check out more recipes for salads and our Seasonal Pear Menu for summer on usapears.org!