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Pear ginger chutney; delicious and oh-so-versatile

I feel sorry for pears. They’re coming into season, all gloriously ripe and sweet, but they tend to get overlooked because everyone is all agog about pumpkins and cranberries this time of year.

I suggest we make room on our autumn plates and palates for the pear.

There are so many ways to enjoy pears. They can be canned and made into crumbles, they find their way into pies, breads, muffins and tarts. Poached pears are a most elegant dessert but nothing is more transcendent than biting into a perfectly ripened pear, so juicy you have to eat it standing over the sink. Divine! Nothing is better – except maybe this chutney.

I crave that sweet and savory mix of flavors. You know? When you blend pear with ginger and brown sugar; they bring out the best in each other. Add a little garlic and sweet onion and this chutney can be eaten by the spoonful, standing at the stove, hiding from the kids. But it’s best enjoyed paired with chicken, turkey or pork. This chutney is also delicious on sandwiches but my personal fave is adding it to chopped chicken or turkey salad for some unexpected zing. Served on a croissant? Ridiculously decadent.

It’s also my autumn staple to have on hand as an appetizer because it takes a simple cheese and cracker plate and makes it totally Diva-worthy. A family favorite is a whole wheat baguette with slices of chicken breast and chutney on top as a snack or light lunch. If you like wine and food pairing, it’s a natural with sweet white varietals like Moscato and Riesling but surprisingly delicious with lighter reds too, like burgundy.


Yield: 3 cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes – Cook Time: 30 minutes simmer

What You’ll Need:

1 tablespoon butter

1 small onion, finely diced – about ½ cup

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

¾ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup raisins (could replace all or part with dried cranberries)

1 teaspoon fresh ginger – paste or grated – OR ½ teaspoon powdered

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups fresh pears, chopped

Here’s How:

In a 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is soft, being careful not to brown or burn. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, raisins, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pears and stir to incorporate. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. This can be served hot, warm, room temperature or cold. Keeps refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Way to go, pear. High five.

Frugal Festive Foods contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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