Recipe & Image: KATHY PATERSON

I’ve never under-rated the pear — they sit among my favourite fruit, so you will often see me using pears in my recipes.

The Packham pear would be my go-to pear, especially sliced onto my morning porridge, but there are many other worthy varieties too.

Along with tomatoes and avocados, pears need to ripen. Unripe pears are very firm, gritty and dry, so do buy ahead and ripen your purchase.

A pear ripens from the centre, so keep an eye out and your sense of smell sharp. As a pear ripens it becomes fragrant, so sniff away. Ripe pears are juicy and buttery, and there is nothing better than eating a perfectly ripe pear with its juice running down your hand.

3 ripe Beurre Bosc pears or other russet-coloured pear varietal
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
a good drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground white pepper
a few sprigs fresh thyme
100ml white wine
a good squeeze of lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 200°C.  Line a large roasting tray with baking paper.

Thickly slice the pears lengthwise. You should get four slices from each pear. Place in a single layer in the prepared tray.

Sprinkle over the brown sugar, drizzle over the oil and grind over some pepper. Scatter pears with thyme. Mix together the wine and lemon juice and drizzle over the pears.

Place in the oven to roast for 30–40 minutes until just tender. I like to remove from the oven and baste pear slices in the roasting juices halfway through roasting. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Serve roasted pears on a cheese board. Use with blue cheese, a vintage cheddar or goat’s cheese.

Add to a salad using leafy greens, blue cheese, toasted sourdough bread and nuts.

Kathy Paterson is a recipe developer, food stylist and photographer. A plentiful herb garden and a trial and error vegetable garden give Kathy the starting place for her recipes along with her love for the classics with a modern twist.

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