Roasted Pears with Chile Turmeric Oil


While perusing the NOPI cook book I noticed Burrata with Blood Oranges and Lavender Oil looked divine. I suppose that sparked the motivation to make this savory oil drizzled on a fruit—-sometimes we have to take inspiration wherever we can and utilize that which is around us. These pears are from the Farmers Market, they are the Gourmet variety which are hardy in cold regions and the window of opportunity for fresh fruit is only two or three weeks. You really have to continually go to market, the produce changes all the time and when it’s gone it’s gone.


Pears, lauded by Homer as the ‘gift of the gods’ in The Odyssey, are one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits. Still-life paintings are overflowing with pears, and Francois Pierre de la Varenne calls them ‘the grandfather to the apple…the fallen aristocrat…”, reminding us that the pear used to be much more prominent in the world than we might see today.



An easy way to get relatively uniform pieces from stem-core or stone fruit: slice on either side of the core to make two semi-orbs, then slice the remaining pieces off the core leaving a square peg shaped core to munch on while you work. This leaves you with easily sliceable sections without having to gouge out the core.

Roasting times may vary depending on the variety of pears used, how ripe they are, and the thickness of the slices. Fruit roasts relatively quickly compared to dense vegetables like beets or carrots, so keep an eye on them. You may want to flip them for more even roasting.




These buddies dance the edge between sweet and savory as roasted fruits do so well. Add the turmeric-chile-garlic dimension and it’s a flavor bomb all by itself. Soft cheeses go well—quark, mascarpone, brie, chèvre, fresh mozzarella, or even a high quality thick sour cream. Top with a garnish of fresh basil, thyme or rosemary and it’s a luxurious appetizer for your next party. Or movie-date-night. Or wine night with the girls. Or forget everyone else and just have a good time by yourself.



The pears went well with roasted Brussel sprouts, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and you have a tasty little side—maybe a thought for Thanksgiving?




Roasted Pears with Chile Turmeric Oil

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Slice around 3/8 inch (6mm) thick:

3 firm Pears—something like Gourmet, Luscious, Concorde, or a slightly unripe Bosc

Drizzle and sprinkle with: 

Olive Oil


Lay out on a cookie sheet or baking pan and roast until leathery, 20-35 minutes.


Mix together in a sauce pan:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 1/2 teaspoon Honey

1 small (1/4 teaspoon) Garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon Turmeric

1/4 teaspoon mild Ground Red Chile, like Guajillo

1/8 teaspoon Salt

Bring just to a simmer on medium-low heat, then remove from heat immediately so the garlic does not become burned and bitter. Let cool and gently toss the roasted pears in the oil. 

Serving suggestions:

-On an arugula salad

-With a soft cheese like mascarpone, quark, chèvre,

-With roasted brussel sprouts

-With lamb, pork, or bison roasts




Try here and here for a quick guide to a few pear varietals that will help you choose a firm pear. Here is a list of cold-hardy pears if you’re pondering planting some in your yard.






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