Make your pears savory in this delicious roasted pork chop recipe

Wioleta Piotrowska and Aurore Caussade
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Like many consumers, I have been shopping for groceries online in order to avoid crowds at my supermarket. I recently ordered three pears, but much to my surprise I received three bags of pears instead, totaling 30.

My first thought was to give them to neighbors; but then I began eating them out-of-hand and adding them to salads. I poached some in wine, turned a few into a tart, and made a pear-ginger cake. Sorry neighbors, but before I knew it, they were gone.

If the pears at the market are not ripe, they will ripen well after they’re picked. Choose firm pears that are without bruises and with their stems attached. You can speed the ripening process by placing them in a brown paper bag with an apple or a banana.

If you plan on cooking pears, make sure they are a bit under-ripe so they will hold their shape.

Native to Asia, pears come in more than 5,000 varieties. Pears were strictly seasonal years ago, but thanks to controlled-atmosphere storage, at least one variety of pears is available fresh throughout the year.

The most popular pear is the greenish-yellow-skinned Bartlett, but we’re seeing a wide range of colors, sizes, and shapes to choose from, including brilliant red Bartletts, brownish-gold Boscs, large Anjous and tiny Seckels.

Although we usually think of pears in dessert recipes, roasted or sautéed pears go beautifully with savory roasted or grilled meats like pork or duck, or in a salad of bitter greens, nuts and a tart cheese, or pureed in a soup along with butternut squash.

This recipe is adapted from Anyone Can Cook, by Kitchen Stories.

This story originally published in the Miami Herald.