ALMOND-CHICKEN PEAR SALAD
This salad carries big flavor with diced pieces of pear that bring just the right amount of crunch. Also works well as a sandwich filling.
2 medium chicken breasts, grilled and cut in ½-inch cubes
½ Cup (120 mL) green pepper, sliced lengthwise
¼ Cup (60 mL) diced celery
¼ tsp (1.25 mL) seasoning salt
½ Cup (120 mL) low-fat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) mayonnaise
½ tsp (2.5 mL) prepared mustard
¼ tsp (1.25 mL) ground ginger
2 fresh Anjou, or Bosc pears, cored and cut in 1-inch cubes
1 head butter lettuce
2 Tbsp (30 mL) toasted, slivered almonds
Toss together chicken, green pepper, and celery. Sprinkle with seasoning salt. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, and ginger; add to chicken mixture. Gently mix in pears. Serve on individual lettuce-lined salad plates. Sprinkle with almonds.
PEAR LASAGNA WITH ALMONDS AND BRIE
Try this fresh take on lasagna with creamy Brie cheese and dense, sweet pears.
4 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ground anise, divided
4 Cups (960 mL) white cream sauce
12 uncooked lasagna sheets
2 pounds ricotta cheese
1 pound Brie cheese, divided
¼ Cup (60 mL) toasted sliced almonds
salt and white pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 tablespoon anise and ½ pound of Brie with cream sauce. Mix ricotta, eggs, remaining anise, and remaining Brie. Season to taste. Combine pears with ricotta mixture. Ladle 4 ounces of cream sauce into the bottom of a 9” x 11” baking pan. Layer the pan with 4 uncooked lasagna sheets. Top the lasagna with half of the pear and ricotta mixture. Top the pear and ricotta mixture with a third of the sliced almonds. Ladle 8 ounces of cream sauce on top of almonds. Create a second layer of lasagna, alternating lasagna noodles, pear mixture, almonds, and cream sauce. Layer top of lasagna with final 4 sheets of pasta. Cover with remaining cream sauce (make sure all pasta sheets are covered with sauce). Cover baking dish with lid or aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Top lasagna with remaining almonds and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let lasagna cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
BRAISED PEARS WITH SOY-GINGER GLAZE
This delightful dish can be made 1 to 2 days before serving. Refrigerate in a covered container and reheat prior to serving. Serve with grilled pork tenderloin or chops. It would also be delicious with roast or grilled chicken.
4 Tbsp (60 mL) unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp (45 mL) soy sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grated fresh ginger root
½ Cup (120 mL) packed golden brown sugar
¼ tsp (1.25 mL) cayenne pepper
4 firm but ripe Bartlett or Bosc Pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cored
2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar
In a 10” sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Stir until the sugar is melted and the ingredients are well combined, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the pears, cut side down, and simmer, basting frequently, until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the pears to a microwave-safe serving dish. Bring the liquid in the pan back to a slow boil and add the vinegar. Simmer the sauce until it is thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the pears and serve immediately, or set aside until ready to serve. If needed, reheat in the microwave just before serving.
Pears are sodium-free, and contain significant amounts of potassium.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized pears as one of the 20 most popular fruits in the world. They are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C. Pears are also sodium-, fat-, and cholesterol-free.
Pears are fat- and cholesterol-free.
Pears are one of the leading sources of fiber among fruits. A medium-sized pear packs 6 grams of fiber, which equals about 24% of the recommended daily value. Most of the available fiber is found in the pear’s skin.
Pears are a good source of vitamin C. Each medium-sized pear contains approximately 7mg, or 10%, of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Likewise, pears contain helpful phytonutrients and antioxidants, most of them in the pear’s skin. Different compounds are found in different-colored pear skins.