During fall and winter months, I always seem to have a batch of these roasted pears cooling their heels in the refrigerator. Drop in friends or family? No problem – I just grab a few of these beauties, slightly sweetened and topped with cinnamon sugar and go to town. In the mood for something a little savory? Add a roasted pear to your favorite salad greens, add some roasted hazelnuts and dried cranberries, some big chunks of blue cheese, and you are all set. Thinking more about sweets? Warm up a few in the oven or microwave if you want, put a couple on each plate, add a couple of scoops of your favorite ice cream, and some cookie crumbs or caramel sauce if you have any laying around and you’re set. They last in the refrigerator for at least a week – as if you will have to worry about that.
First and foremost, we shall require a few pears. Use red, yellow, or green varieties – it makes no difference. A little on the ‘still too hard to eat’ side? No problem. A little past their prime? No problem. Roasting is the great equalizer, and all of your pears will come out of their oven experience perfectly. Just slice them in half and remove the seeds with a melon baller if you’ve got one. I usually leave the skin on, but if you’d like to peel yours, feel free. Into the baking dish they go and are drizzled with a little agave (or honey) and a sprinkling of cinnamon. I also give them a short little spray with cooking spray so the tops don’t dry out
All that’s left is the chowing down. Let’s start with some organic salad greens, a little green onion and a beautiful pear. Hold on – how about some roasted hazelnuts and some dried cranberries? Of course, we need big chunks of our favorite blue cheese. Add whichever dressing suits you.
Time for dessert! Vanilla ice cream, vanilla with a caramel swirl, and maybe some additional caramel sauce on top if you happen to have any hanging around are perfect accompaniments. Lately I’ve found myself crumbling some favorite cookies over the top for a nice crunch. Seems kind of funny, but whenever we serve this for company dessert, I swear our guests prefer this over something really fancy and heavy. Hey – I’m good with that.
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- 6-10 pears, ripe but still firm (NOTE: Don't sweat it if they are still a little on the green side - they will roast just perfectly)
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or less if you like, especially if the pears are super-ripe)
- ½ -1-teaspoon Cinnamon or to taste (NOTE: if you have any cinnamon sugar laying around, go ahead and use that instead)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- Spray a 13x9 inch-baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash and slice the pears (no need to peel). Remove the core with an apple corer or use a teaspoon to coax out the seeds, and a sharp paring knife to get the blossom end peeled. Place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray (or a 13x9 inch baking dish will hold about 6-7 pears, halved) . Drizzle the pears with agave nectar and sprinkle with just a little kosher salt, cinnamon or cinnamon sugar. Roast about 30-45 minutes or until soft and slightly caramelized.