Roasted pear with honey and rosemary is a really simple and scrumptious dish that makes a festive appetizer, or even a side dish with a big, leafy salad. Gently caramelized pears, rosemary, honey, and salty feta all get comfy on a toasty piece of sourdough.
Adapted from Laura Fleiter & Kerstin Niehoff | Advent | Murdoch Books, 2021
Often it’s in the winter months, when the sun is weak and the weather doesn’t encourage a lot of outdoor activity, that we can treat ourselves to slowing down, to a second helping of our favorite home-cooked food and a more relaxed approach to doing what needs to be done. Make yourself comfortable!—Laura Fleiter & Kerstin Niehoff
Roasted Pear with Honey and Rosemary FAQs
What kind of pears should I use here?
The cinnamon-colored Bosc pear is recommended for a dish like this. It retains its shape, won’t get mushy, and caramelizes beautifully. At the peak of ripeness, they’re juicy, sweet, and crunchy. D’Anjou and Bartlett will also work but they might soften more than you like.
I’d like to offer my guests a choice of cheese for this dish. What can I use?
Mmm..we love a choice of cheeses! Use something creamy and mild, like Brie, fresh mozzarella, or ricotta. If you have guests who like cheese with a little more oomph, we think blue cheese (or maybe even gorgonzola) would be delightful. Goat cheese goes beautifully with pears too.
How can I turn this into a dessert?
We like the way you think. Make the pears up to the end of step 2 and then use them with something sweet, like ice cream drizzled with rum, as tester Tricia M. did. Still want cheese? Sweetened mascarpone would be incredible here, too. Chop the pears and add to yogurt, serve ’em over French toast (dessert for breakfast? Heck yes!), or as a topping for cheesecake.
Roasted Pear with Honey and Rosemary
- 1 pear preferably Bosc
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 small sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 small slices of sourdough bread
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 ounce feta cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the pear lengthways into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices, removing any seeds. Place the pear slices on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the honey and bake until tender and golden around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves.
- Spread both sides of the sourdough slices with butter. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the sourdough on both sides until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Crumble the feta over the toasted sourdough and top with the roasted pear slices. Arrange on a plate, sprinkle with the chopped rosemary, and enjoy.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I believe the first comment—accompanied by a gasp—was “Oh my goodness, that was good.” There were a lot of exuberantly happy eaters in my kitchen when I laid out a platter of these gorgeous roasted pears with honey and rosemary toasts for a pre-dinner nibble.
As the recipe header suggests, these are indeed a perfect bite of sweet and savory and could be either an elegant appetizer or part of a rustic dinner alongside a simply dressed bowl of peppery arugula or some bright spinach. They look quite fancy although they’re ridiculously quick to assemble and bake…and the recipe lends itself easily to scaling for 1 to 100.
I found that Bosc pears work quite well, perhaps preferred over Bartletts or the D’Anjou variety, and just-ripe fruit (rather than overly ripe and soft) is also preferable so that you can slice it cleanly into even-width pieces. (You want all of the slices to be the same thickness so that they finish roasting and browning at the same rate. For a similar reason—and to prevent burning—I’d recommend slicing the pear no thinner than 1/4 inch or else you might risk burning the fruit and/or having a hard time scraping up the slices from the parchment.) I also think that substituting fresh thyme leaves for the rosemary wouldn’t be a bad idea!
This is a really nice late morning or afternoon snack. Roasted pears are very versatile, and I would recommend roasting a few pears and using them over a few days in various dishes. I put some extra slices in salad. They are also delicious over vanilla ice cream with a little rum – rosemary optional. Nice contrast and crunch with a sprinkle of flaky salt!
Wonderful! Who could go wrong with the roasted pear + honey + cheese + bread, warm? I used one Bartlett and one D’Anjou, and the D’Anjou was a bit sturdier, which I would recommend for the future. The ripe Bartlett, after baking, was a bit on the fragile side and somewhat past merely tender. I also love the idea of roasting up some pears as suggested – definitely more than one! – and having them ready for a snack and/or atop a green salad. This works well for me as a snack or as one part of a multi-part meal, maybe including a soup, but seems a little skimpy even as a light entrée.
This savory snack meal was terrific, very tasty, and was ready in less than 15 minutes, perfect at the end of the day with a green salad.
I used a firm-ripe Bartlett pear, sliced a bit thick into five slabs, and dabbed each slice with honey before roasting. The pear was very sweet so I used only one teaspoon of honey. My sprig of rosemary was about three inches long, and after I minced the leaves, measured a heaping teaspoon — I wondered whether that would be too much (it was not too much, just right).
Next time, I might pop the bread into the oven for a few minutes to toast with the roasting pear, instead of using the frying pan as suggested by the recipe.
What to do with that big box of pears you receive every December? This. And other pear-containing things, but start with this because it’s breakfast, it’s lunch, it’s an after-school snack and an hors d’oeuvre, and those twelve pears all ripen at the very same moment. Roasting pears makes it easier to eat more of them, and as the author suggests, they are perfect on a green salad with a little red onion and a white balsamic vinaigrette.
Originally published December 21, 2021
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
In the interest of experimentation plus the fact we all enjoy roasted pears, I trialed this roasted pear with honey and rosemary recipe with three varieties of pears. I used one Bosc, one D’Anjou, and one Bartlett. All were similar sizes and levels of ripeness. My favourite and the one I used for this recipe was the Bosc pear.
Sliced into 8 slices of 5mm thickness each, this pear roasted to tender and mellow with slightly caramelized edges in 10 to 15 minutes. The flavour and the shape also provided a better fit with the sourdough slice and rosemary-scented honey.
Any of the pears would have worked to meet individual tastes. I would just note that not all pears roast equally and one should look for a bit of caramelization other than just tenderness to consider the slices ready for topping this scrumptiously crispy sourdough with a mix of fruity, salty, creamy, and herby delight. I thought the salt and feta might be a bit much. I used 1/8 of a teaspoon of Maldon flake salt and it wasn’t too salty at all. In fact, it just accentuated the sweetness of the pear.
As a starter, this recipe is a two-person treat. With a salad as an entrée, it feeds one. We enjoyed the remaining roasted slices with salad greens and another sprinkle of feta. It was pear-fect!