Lucky me. I found myself in possession of a selection of succulent local pears. Even though these are quite lovely eaten raw, I decided to use nearly all of them as the basis for my local-food contribution to yesterday’s local wine-local food dinner.
At first, I thought I’d make a pear tart of some kind, perhaps a pear tart tatin. Then I looked through a few cookbooks and discovered an unusual and simple recipe for Balsamic-Roasted Pears with Pepper and Honey in my Gourmet Cookbook. I made a few adjustments to suit my needs, and in return I got a delicious, time-saving recipe that was a little different and, despite my fears, not overly sweet. Here’s my version (with a shorter name). It probably isn’t as pretty as Gourmet’s, but it tasted lovely.
Balsamic–Goat Cheese Pears
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 firm-ripe local pears, peeled, cored and quartered
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 5 ounces fresh local goat cheese, at room temperature (I used Goatsbeard Farm)
- 2/3 cup local honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place butter in 9 x 13 (or so) baking dish, and melt 3-4 minutes in middle of oven as it preheats to 400 degrees.
- Arrange pears in single layer in butter. Bake in middle of 400-degree oven until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Pour vinegar over pears and bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Transfer pears to platter. Dot with portions of with cheese, and spoon some of juices from baking dish over pears. Drizzle honey over all, and sprinkle with pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 10-12 servings.
Tip: Use a serving dish with a significant lip, or add a lot less pan juices than I did. Despite what I thought were reasonable precautions, I managed to get sticky vinegar-honey-butter stuff all over my car. At least it smells good.