Red Pears

I have a confession to make: I buy produce because it’s pretty. No, really. Sometimes I’m so mesmerized by the way a piece of fruit looks at the market that 90% of me wants to buy it so I can stare at it on the counter for a few days, and only 10% of me wants to actually eat it. Is that weird? (I know, it’s weird.) In fact, sometimes I buy the most un-ripe pieces in the stack so I will have maximum counter-viewing pleasure. Then, of course, I wait about a day too long and the ripeness tipping point hits and those tiny no-see-um fruit flies start to spontaneously appear out of thin air. Seriously: Where. Do. They. Come. From?

I suppose I should really just go buy a really beautiful bowl of plastic fruit or something and go back to actually eating product instead of viewing it. Oh well.

These red pears are my latest victims. And they threw me a curve ball because they actually got even more beautiful as they ripened, changing from a deep maroon to a vibrant ruby color. Luckily, I actually cut into one at its peak ripeness, and my-oh-my was it good. When allowed to ripen on the tree, red pears actually develop a gritty texture. But when picked at maturity and ripened off the tree, they mellow into a silky-smooth, melt in your mouth consistency. This lucky phenomenon makes it possible to find red pears in your market well past their growing season and into January.

I am loving the abundance of pears in Seattle thanks to our close proximity to prime pear growing real estate. You can substitute pears for apples in pretty much any recipe. And especially with the gorgeous red skin, these pears are a beautiful aesthetic and delicious flavor addition to a green salad. I like to sauté pear slices in olive oil for a few minutes, then strain the oil and make a lovely pear vinaigrette salad dressing to boot.

These red pears I enjoyed sliced up with a little smear of almond butter. That’s a breakfast that’s worth getting up early for! Pick up a few the next time you’re at the market. Just don’t let them sit on your counter for you to admire for too long! Enjoy!

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