Roasted Pears with Couscous and Winter Fruits
You'll find a fantastic selection of mega-vitamin-packed dried fruits individually packaged in the bulk department at PCC. These little gems add a spark of color and chewy texture to so many wintery dishes. I love them in this Mediterranean-inspired couscous with the quintessential juicy accompaniment of roasted pears.
- 2 slightly ripe pears Add to list
- 3 tablespoons olive oil Add to list
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin Add to list
- 1 cup sliced leek or onion Add to list
- 1 stalk celery, chopped Add to list
- 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, raisins, mangoes, prunes, currants, pears, cherries; just one kind or any combination you like!) Add to list
- Pinch saffron (optional) Add to list
- 2/3 cup couscous Add to list
- 1 cup vegetable broth Add to list
- Salt and freshly ground pepper Add to list
- Lemon wedges, toasted almonds and feta cheese for garnish Add to list
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut the pears in half lengthwise and with a melon baller, spoon or small ice cream scoop, remove the core. Place the pear halves face down in a parchment paper-lined roasting pan and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until they are fork tender. They will caramelize in their own juices. While the pears are cooking, prepare the couscous.
In a heavy pot, heat the oil over medium high heat and cook the cumin, onions and celery for about 3 to 4 minutes until crisp tender. Stir in the dried fruit, the saffron and the couscous. Pour in the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Season with the salt and pepper. Cover the pot and remove it from the heat. Let the couscous steam for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff it with a fork.
To serve: You have a choice! Cut the pear halves into thin slices and fan one on each of 4 plates or just serve them uncut, tilted at a flirtatious angle. Mound with the couscous and garnish with lemon wedges, toasted almonds and feta cheese if you so desire. Great all on its own or as a side dish for a special meal.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
Source: PCC Fresh February 2009