Trickling streams of melting snow flow through our barren yard. The robins sing morning love songs to announce their arrival. And the sun is still shining when I begin making dinner.
Yes, spring is near in the Midwest.
But as one might guess, spring produce is not. The ground still too cold and wet for planting. So we make do with what we have, and hold onto fruits and vegetables that are easily accessible during this in-between time.
Like USA pears, red onions, and CHEESE. 😉 Okay, halloumi cheese isn’t produce, but it’s good any time of year.
I used two different varieties of pears in this caramelized dish, the green Anjou (in season from September to July) and Bosc variety (September to April). Reason being that the two are a little firmer in texture, which I knew would bode well for baking, and in the middle of the pear sweetness range – ideal for a savory dish while still getting some good caramelization.
You’ll cut the pears into quarters, and then once more. Into a baking pan they go, with wedges of red onion, olive oil, and thyme sprigs. As they bake, the natural sugars from both the pears and onion are released, and leads to browning – the key to lots of deep flavor.
One other benefit of roasting is that if you didn’t quite let your pears fully ripen, they’ll still turn out beautifully in this recipe because the heat will soften them and bring out their gusto.
*note: I leave the skins on because they contain the majority of the fiber found in pears, a leading fruit source of this nutritional component. A medium-sized pear packs 6 grams of fiber, which equals about 24% of the recommended daily value!
I can’t get enough of this salty, springy, firm, and versatile brined cheese. Its high melting point makes pan-frying or grilling, the preferred method of cooking. It also tastes best this way!
The saltiness fades into a strong, savory bite and the texture becomes soft. (You can find halloumi in most grocery stores, near the soft melting cheeses. Even Trader Joe’s carries it.)
This side dish has it all.
Savory, salty, and sweet.
Creamy with a bit of crunch from toasted pepita seeds.
Minimal effort. Maximum goodness.