Recipes: Taste of fresh pears

Lifestyle Monday 07/March/2016 18:40 PM
By: Times News Service
Recipes: Taste of fresh pears

Eating nutrient-packed pears as a snack or as part of a meal is a great way to meet the daily recommendation of fruit. Sweet and juicy, pears are an excellent source wholesome treat and a perfect addition to sweet and savoury dishes. Pears make the perfect partner for wholesome snacking. Pears are often considered best eaten fresh and just-sliced, making them a perfect partner for wholesome, simple snacking — think sliced pears atop whole-grain toast, wrapped with prosciutto, dipped in nut butters or partnered with blue or aged, hard cheeses.
Here are few interesting recipes:
Pear Lettuce Wraps
These chicken and crunchy pear lettuce wraps combine crisp pears with lean, protein-rich ground chicken for a budget- and family-friendly winter meal.
• 1tbsp cornstarch
• 2tbsp peanut oil
• 1tbsp minced garlic
• 1-1/2tbsp grated ginger root
• 6 scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts separated
• 1 pound ground chicken, dark meat
• 1tbsp chilli sauce
• 2tbsp hoisin sauce
• 2tbsp soy sauce
• 1 pear peeled, cored and cut in matchsticks
• Toasted sesame oil to taste
• 12 large tender lettuce leaves, such as bib, butter or red leaf
• Cilantro sprigs
• In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 3tbsp of water to form a smooth paste and set aside. Warm the peanut oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and white parts of the scallion and stir-fry until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently until it breaks into small pieces and is no longer pink, about eight minutes. Add the chilli sauce, hoisin sauce and soy sauce, stirring to combine and evenly distribute the ingredients. Add the reserved cornstarch slurry and stir until the sauce is clear. Finish with the reserved scallion greens, pear matchsticks and a splash of sesame oil.
To serve
• Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the middle of a lettuce leaf with a few cilantro leaves, if desired. Wrap the lettuce around the contents and eat.
Warm Winter Greens with Balsamic Lentils and Roasted Pears
• 2 bunches of winter greens, washed, dried and torn into
large pieces
• Lentils
• 2tsp olive oil
• 1 small sweet onion, cut into half rings
• 1/2tsp salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed
• 1 cup cold water
• Roasted pears
• 2 firm, ripe pears
• 2tsp olive oil
• 2tsp honey
• 6-8 sage leaves, torn
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare greens and transfer to large bowl. Place saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil, onions, salt and pepper, and sauté until onions begin to caramelise. Add vinegar to deglaze pan, stirring to pick up bits that may be stuck to the bottom. Cook until vinegar reduces and pan is nearly dry, about three minutes. Add lentils and water, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until lentils are al dente.
• Spread pears onto sheet pan. Stir olive oil and honey together and drizzle over pears. Add sage leaves, toss pears gently with mixture and transfer to oven. Roast pears for 12-15 minutes, or until just tender.
• When lentils are done, pour atop the winter greens while still hot. Using tongs, toss lentils and greens together until greens are softened and glossy.
• Transfer mixture to a clean bowl and drizzle with more olive oil. Top the warm salad with roasted pears and sage leaves. Serve immediately.
Honey sweet roasted pears and tangy balsamic lentils are tossed with winter greens to make this simple and balanced meal, packed full of essential nutrients, including fibre, vitamin C, antioxidants, folate and iron.
Serve salad warm. If you desire a little more richness, try topping the salad with long curls of parmesan cheese.
Think Outside the Box
• Slice pears atop whole-grain toast
• Wrap pear slices in prosciutto
• Pair pears with blue cheese parmesan or aged white cheddar
• Dip pears into yoghurt
• Pack a pear with a small portion of nuts
• Smear slices with almond or cashew butter
• Sprinkle diced pears onto pudding.