Are you grilling pork tonight? How about fish or chicken? Sausages? If you’re looking for something different to complement any of these meats–something other than the ubiquitous baked potato–try adding grilled pears to your menu. The mild, sweet flavor of pears works well both as a dessert and as a complement to any number of other dishes.
Basics for Grilled Pears
Like many other grilled fruits, grilled pears are simple, quick, and easy to get right. You’ll be amazed at how delicious they can be with just a hint of smoked flavor from the grilling process.
Start by slicing your pears in half and scooping out the center. You can peel if desired, but grilled pears also turn out well when you leave the skins on. Brush each piece with olive oil to prevent sticking. Heat your grill to medium-high and place pears directly on the grill plate. Grill for about 10 minutes, or until grill marks appear and pears feel slightly soft. Serve them as-is or add them to a recipe for a delicious summer dish.
Serving Ideas for Grilled Pears
With your pears fresh off the grill, you can add them to a variety of recipes. Try these ideas to get you started:
- H’ors Doeuvre–Slice pears into half-inch thick pieces. Grill for 5-10 minutes. Place each pear slice on a piece of toasted french bread, spread with cream cheese or goat cheese, and drizzle with honey for a delicious bruschetta.
- Salad—Chop grilled pears into cubes and serve with mixed greens, walnuts or almonds, and feta cheese.
- Side dish—Brush with a mixture of hot sauce and olive oil for a spicy side. After grilling, fill centers with blue cheese or your favorite soft cheese.
- Dessert–Serve with vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce for a sophisticated meal encore.
Gaining Confidence on the Grill
Becoming a true grill master means being willing to try new ideas and utilizing the grill to its fullest potential. One of the ways to learn what your grill is capable of is to experiment with unusual menu items like grilled vegetables and fruit. Pears offer a good starting point because they have a firm texture that holds up well under grilling and they offer a mild flavor that works with a variety of meat entrees.
Next time you fire up the grill for your famous pork chops or chicken, try adding a few pears to the mix. Your guests (and your family!) will be impressed with your culinary prowess–and they’ll be asking for more!
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