Tips and ideas for using the humble pear.
Availability: Most of the year, but best from March to June.
Buying: Pears are one of the few fruit that ripen best when off the tree. Choose pears that are firm to the touch and have no visible bruises. Depending on the variety, pears can be brown, green, yellow or red.
Storing: Store in the fridge and wash before use.
Nutrition: Pears contain fibre and are a good source of phenolics, a group of antioxidants.
Ideas for using pears
- Make a delicious, healthy pear and chocolate crumble. Slice 2 or 3 pears thinly and layer in a flan dish. Make a crumble topping with rolled oats, low-fat spread and brown sugar. Sprinkle over the pears and add a few squares of chopped, dark chocolate. Bake until the pears are soft and the topping crunchy; about 30 minutes.
- Stew pears – on their own or with apple – in a little water, add a small amount of sugar and freeze in batches for a delicious breakfast or dessert treat.
- Enjoy a classic salad: rocket or watercress leaves, sliced pears, shaved parmesan and toasted walnuts. Dress with a vinaigrette made from balsamic vinegar.
- Pears and blue cheese are a lovely combination. Serve them together as a no-cook alternative to dessert when entertaining.
- Peel, halve and core pears and roast in a baking dish, drizzled with a little golden syrup or honey. Serve with yoghurt or ice cream.