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.

Happy Whole-idays!

Ten Varieties of USA Pears KO sm


The holidays are here and it’s National Pear Month! There are so many fresh, delicious pear varieties available right now, why not pick up a few new varieties? I’m encouraging my family to practice Healthy Wholidays this year, an effort to use more whole fruits and vegetables through the holidays. The idea is simple; start with fresh, whole fruits and vegetables at meals and when cooking or baking. Not only will whole foods provide fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, but using fresh limits processed foods and added sugar, salt, and preservatives. (I’m also thinking that it will end in more delicious, wholesome foods everyone will love for years to come!)

The fresh produce this time of year is delicious! One of my favorite dishes to bring to holiday parties is my homemade fruit salad. It’s simple: Cut fresh pears (Bosc are my favorites) and apples and peel and slice persimmons and clementines into bite-sized pieces. Cut a star fruit into star shapes. Mix fruits together and add a little lemon juice for zing and to prevent browning. Top with fresh pomegranate seeds and serve! Super delicious, super healthy for happy whole-idays!

Jicama and Pear

Next up on the list of 10 Pear Salad Recipes by Mark Bittman: Jicama and Pear. I had the ingredients on hand this weekend and was looking for a light side dish to accompany a spice-filled stew, and this fit the bill. Bittman’s version is more heavily dressed, but I needed something crunchy and light to contrast my main dish. I subbed a dash of cayenne pepper for minced chile and added the suggested lime juice. Ole!

Concorde pears were a great choice for this dish. Their vanilla-sweet flavor and crisp texture made a perfect match for the similar jicama and the punchy vinaigrette. I tossed the salad with minced basil and parsley because that’s what I found in the crisper, but I would have loved cilantro, too.

This sweet salad reminded me of the Jicama Street Snack I devoured at Frontera Grill in Chicago – it’s essentially a dressed-up version of this combination: fruit + crisp veggie (jicama, cucumber) + spice + citrus. I’m keeping this one at the top of my recipe file — it’s perfect for summer potlucks, but I suspect it will be whisking me away to Mexico on some upcoming rainy days, too.

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

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!