X

Subscribe to Kosher Like Me weekly newsletter so you won't miss a thing.
We promise that it's painless and we'll NEVER share your info.

EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Seasonal Snippet: Asian Pears & a Simple Salad of Contrasts
photo: Liz Rueven

Seasonal Snippet: Asian Pears & a Simple Salad of Contrasts

Katy Morris

Autumn is full of fun fruits we crave all year, from pomegranates and pumpkins to apples and figs. This fall, we’ve fallen hard for Asian Pears at our farmers’ markets.

Often dubbed apple pears (only to add to the confusion…), Asian pears are the oldest cultivated pears known. You’re probably used to Anjou or Bartlett pears, which take time to ripen at room temp and are sweeter and mellower in taste.

Photo: Lyman Orchards, CT
Photo: Lyman Orchards, CT

In contrast, Asian pears are best when they ripen directly on the tree, just like apples and peaches, and are noticeably crisper and less “buttery” than other pears. Their clean and uncomplicated flavor makes them perfect in salads, especially alongside other dishes that are more complex or heavy (think Chanukah or Thanksgiving).

Taste and Texture

They can be hard as a rock, but bruise like a peach. Their thin rough skin, which ranges from pale green and light yellow to vibrant golden, encloses a white, aromatic flesh that is somewhat grainy, refreshingly juicy-sweet and crisp. We liken their crunchy texture to jicama, only sweeter, and they are similarly high in water content. 

Photo: Lyman Orchards, CT
Photo: Lyman Orchards, CT

Choosing

As you might’ve guessed, you want to grab firm, unblemished Asian pears. Those with a golden hue and strong fragrance are best. The transition from green to yellow signals it is ripe and ready to eat.   

Storing

They’ll be fine at room temperature for about a week, but if you want to keep them longer, pop them in the fridge for up to three months.

Ready to enjoy?

Simply rinse with running water. Asian pears are great right out of your hand, and serve as a perfect sub for Bosc pears, apples or quince. We love slicing them on leafy green salads for an added hydrating crunch, as chips atop chocolate mousse and chopped in charoset.

Pair these pears with fellow fall fruits such as dates, persimmon, figs and pomegranates, alongside veggies including bok choy, kale and beetroot, or for a perfect textural juxtaposition, sliced brie.

Photo: Lyman Orchards, CT
Photo: Lyman Orchards, CT

Warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom and allspice are also perfect complements to the cool crunch, as well as Asian cuisine flavors like sesame oil, lemongrass, soy sauce and plum wine.

 If your farms are finished with harvesting fruit, Asian pears are a safe bet to buy in your supermarket since they store and travel so well.

Thank you, Tim Burt at Lyman Orchards in CT, for providing images for this post. Lyman Orchards covers  1100 acres with 400 acres for pick your own. They have 28 varieties of apples and a wide variety of other fruit at their farm. They harvest beginning with strawberries in June and continue into November with apples. For more information about their market, pick your own and other events, click here.

photo: Liz Rueven
photo: Liz Rueven

Leave a Reply