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All Hail the Queen of Pears

A pear by any other name is simply a pear, but a Korean pear … is the regal queen of pears. Pampered from a beautiful blossom into a voluptuous, tender-skinned, blemish-free, sweet, juicy orb of golden crunchiness – no other can hold a candle to its perfection. Behold the Queen of Pears and her ladies in waiting:

korean pears

Unlike Western pears, Korea’s Asian Pears are bred to have an extremely thin skin and are wrapped while still on the tree to protect their tender skin and the white tender flesh within. They are the ones you see swathed in a soft cloak of white when displayed among the commoners in the marketplace. A case of these uncommonly good pears that regale your palate with the delightful crunchiness of apples and the sweet tenderness of pears arrived at my humble abode courtesy of Melissa’s Produce.

Since that fateful day, we’ve been devouring them simply out-of-hand – we are mere peasants, after all; savoring them for breakfast like Elvis on toast with peanut butter, and making all manner of salsas, chutneys, sauces, vinaigrettes, and salads. The chutney I made is perfect for a holiday or hostess gift from the kitchen, and I loved the refreshing, crispness that the pears added to the organic green salads I crave practically on a daily basis, but especially the day after an event where I’ve indulged in too much over-the-top rich cuisine.

korean pear, cranberry, pecan salad

 

Korean pear, cranberry, pecan salad

One of my favorite ways to use fruit is as a sweet component in a savory dish, and Korean pears combined with dried cherries in a quick sauce pairs well with pork or chicken for a quick weeknight dinner. There is nothing like a warm, satisfying meal of Pan-fried Pork Tenderloin with Brown Butter Korean Pears & Cherries and Roasted Spaghetti Squash to ward off the chill of a brisk autumn day. Reminiscent of Weiner Schnitzel, this dish embodies the produce of the season with spaghetti squash sautéed with shallots and celery and Korean pears browned in butter with dried cherries and a dash of apple cider. Grab an ale and cozy up to the fire with your honey. 

Pan-fried Pork Tenderloin with Korean Pears, Cherries and Spaghetti Squash

Can you tell I’m experimenting with artificial lighting?  Our move to the beach meant transitioning to a house with limited natural light suitable for food photography. I know, can you believe it? You would think that a house at the beach would be flooded with glorious light, but with all the tall buildings jockeying for their piece of an ocean view, I actually have more of lot of things, but light is not one of them. Thanks to the Fairy Hobmother that was making the rounds many months ago, I won a gift certificate after commenting on Lora – the Cake Duchess‘ giveaway. Fortunately, I remembered it and wisely used it to purchase a set of lights from Amazon – so a very belated thank you, Fairy Hobmother.

korean pears, asian pears

Back to the pears: Korean Pears have a variety of uses in cooking:  sliced, diced or shredded over salads, baked, or stuffed for desserts and make a flavorful alternative to any recipe traditionally made with conventional Asian Pears. Besides their crispy, sweetness and tender skin, they do not turn brown! You can literally reserve half of the pear to eat later or for another use and the flesh will still be white and fresh looking, even after a few hours or the next day. Also, while they taste like a cross between an apple and a pear, they are not a hybrid – Asian pears are native to China, Japan, and Korea. Should you cast your eyes upon these lovely ladies, gently escort them to an awaiting carriage and make haste to your stately castle before someone else does.

For more delicious ideas and recipes for Korean Pears:

Korean pear coleslaw, Gangnam style from The Jolly Tomato
Asian Pear Celery Ginger Mint Juice and Granita from Recipe Renovator
10 things to do with Korean pears from Shockingly Delicious
Honey-glazed Korean pears baked in wonton crisps with honey-cinnamon mascarpone from Cooking on the Weekends

 

Disclosure: I received a case of pears from Melissa’s Produce and organic salad greens from Organic Girl; the cooking, recipes, and opinions are my own.

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16 Responses to “All Hail the Queen of Pears”

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    November 18 at 2:45 pm #

    Beautiful salad, this is perfect for the holidays!

  2. Terra
    November 18 at 7:18 pm #

    I love salads like this, they are so refreshing and delicious! I think I have only had Koren pears once, I need to eat them more for sure:-) Gorgeous, Hugs, Terra

    • Terra
      November 18 at 7:20 pm #

      Sorry my link did not show up, so wanted to make another comment here:-)

  3. Angie@Angie's Recipes
    November 19 at 2:52 am #

    What a gorgeous salad! Right up my alley!

  4. Patty
    November 19 at 2:08 pm #

    This is the pear salad of my dreams!!!
    I have seriously been craving a salad just like this one,, so pretty;-)
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving;-)

  5. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious
    November 19 at 9:18 pm #

    Looks super fresh and perfect for our still sunny weather :)

  6. Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious
    November 20 at 11:30 am #

    A fantastic salad! Thanks for linking to me!

  7. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking
    November 20 at 4:27 pm #

    I love Asian pears and your salad is so light, perfect accompanied to any holiday dinner
    Happy Thanksgiving

  8. robert
    November 21 at 6:13 am #

    Great side salad with Thanksgiving meal.. thanks Priscilla!

  9. Nancy/SpicieFoodie
    November 26 at 8:34 am #

    My husband would really love your pork pairing. Will have to bookmark this so he gets the pork and I get the salad:) Thanks for sharing Priscilla and I hope you had a great holiday:)

  10. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    November 30 at 9:54 am #

    We love Korean pears and always have some in winter months! This is a beautiful salad and one that will be VERY popular among my family!!

  11. Sandra's Easy Cooking
    November 30 at 10:56 am #

    I love pears of any kind and it’s one my ultimate favorite fruit. I also love Korean Pears, we can find them in Int’ market and always stock up when we go. Your salad looks incredibly delicious and appealing!!!

  12. Magic of Spice
    December 23 at 1:05 pm #

    My favorite pears :) This salad looks truly wonderful!
    And I am having to experiment with artificial lighting as well since I moved, so far…not so happy

  13. cari
    June 21 at 8:09 am #

    We would love to send you some of our new flavors for you to try Pricilla.
    Head Ancho and Tuscan Melody.
    Thanks for the wonderfull salad recipe.

    • Priscilla
      June 21 at 5:16 pm #

      Hi Cari – Thanks for stopping by – I’m glad you approve :) And, yes, I’d love to try your new flavors!

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