Monday, December 06, 2004


Broiled Pears with Leeks

I have a new love in my life. The Concorde Pear. (I got mine at Whole Foods) One bite into its perfection and I was hooked. This divine fruit was ripe, juicy, full of flavor, not at all mealy (a common pear complaint) has a thin skin and in season right now. I looked it up online (since the pear itself had a sticker promoting a website right on it…how convenient…) and learned: “The Concorde pear is well known for it's abundant juice and sweetness. Concorde pears have a beautiful shape and crisp texture with less russeting, but are not commonly available in the United States. Concorde pears can be eaten almost immediately upon purchase. As the pears ripen they become more golden, slightly softer and mellower in flavor. The dense flesh make them an ideal cooking pear. A completely unique quality of this remarkable pear is that it is very slow to turn brown, as do nearly all other pear varieties. This feature alone provides an excellent pear for fresh salads or fruit compotes and deserts.” - Remarkable indeed.

Though it is touted as the best pear for baking, I still think it is outstanding eaten just plain…on the other hand, it would be delicious served as a communal appetizer, like a raclette.

1 Tablespoon butter
1 leek, cleaned and sliced into very thin half moons then sautéed
4 Concorde pears, Peeled and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
3 tablespoons dry white wine
1 scant teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Lots of black pepper
2 cups Gruyère or raclette cheese, grated

A loaf of white bread (cibatta would be great) cut into cubes, for serving

Turn on your broiler

Butter a medium sized oval or rectangular baking dish.
In a bowl toss together the leeks, pears, mustard, wine, rosemary and pepper. Pour into the baking dish and top with the cheese. Broil 6 inches from the flame for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
Serve to your guests with bread.

According to Scarborough Research, young adult drinkers,
ages 21 to 34, are more willing to pay for premium wine than
the generation of 35-to-54-year-olds. Younger drinkers are
84 percent more likely than the average adult to spend $20
or more for a bottle of wine. And 21- to 24-year olds are 29
percent more likely to buy Champagne/sparkling wine.

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