Roasted Balsamic Pears


Roasted Balsamic Pears

This comes from The Washington Post, November 19, 2003

If you ache for a traditional pumpkin pie or other sugar-laden dessert and nothing else will do, best not to bother with this untraditional finish. But if you're open to a savory take on roasted pears, redolent of balsamic and rosemary, give this a try. And you may want to add some cheese; see the variations that follow.

For More Carbs: Drizzle each serving with about 1 tablespoon honey (9 grams carbohydrates).

In Advance: The pears and walnuts must be roasted just prior to serving, but assemble all of the ingredients ahead of time. Halve and core the pears, then rub them with lemon water and place them cut-side down on a plate for up to several hours.

8 servings

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

4 firm but ripe pears, preferably Bosc, halved lengthwise and cored

6 tablespoons Tasteful Additions Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

3/4 cup (3 ounces) walnut halves or pieces, toasted

Finely chopped fresh rosemary, to taste

1/2 cup honey (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have ready a roasting pan or baking dish that will just barely accommodate the pear halves in a single layer (you may have to use 2 baking dishes). Using too large a pan will cause the sauce to scorch.

Place the butter in the pan and place on the middle rack until melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and arrange the pears, cut-sides down, in the butter. Roast the pears in the middle of the oven until almost tender, about 10 minutes, depending on the ripeness.

Drizzle the vinegar over the pears and roast for 5 more minutes.

Immediately transfer the pears, cut-sides down, to serving plates. Sprinkle with the walnuts and rosemary and spoon some of the juices from the baking dish over the pears. Drizzle pears and cheese (if using) with honey (if using) and sprinkle with pepper. Serve at once.


Blue Cheese: Crumble about 1 ounce over each pear half just prior to serving.

Goat Cheese: Place a spoonful of soft goat cheese next to each pear half just prior to serving. Especially good with honey.

Mascarpone: Place a spoonful next to each pear half just prior to serving. The warmth of the pear will melt the mascarpone slightly so it will mingle with the juices from the baking dish. Especially good with honey.

Mascarpone and Blue Cheese Sauce: In a bowl, combine about 1/2 cup of each and mash together. Spoon over each pear half just prior to serving.

Pecorino: Thinly shave aged Pecorino alongside each pear half just prior to serving.

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