Pears are sometimes added to savory dishes to add juice and moisture, or to make a sauce. My idea with this recipe was to make a side dish, something that could be served with pork chops, roast chicken, pork tenderloin or sausages, tossed with salad greens, put on top of a pizza or maybe even used in a sandwich.

Most recipes for roast pears call for pear halves or quarters, but dicing them just means they cook faster. You could also include pears with potatoes, parsnips, onions, beets or other similar vegetables that are good for roasting.

I really love the silky texture of cooked pears. The flavor intensifies, too, which is why pears are so good in cakes and tarts. But you can get the same texture and flavor by roasting pears without baking them in a batter or crust. Necessity is the mother of invention ... so, while I enjoy maple roasted pears with oatmeal or yogurt, I’m sure I'll find even more ways to use them.

Savory Roasted Pears

4 firm pears, about 2 pounds

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel, core and dice the pears.

Toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.

Place pears in a foil or parchment-lined baking dish and roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Time will vary depending upon the type of pears and their level of ripeness. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 151 calories; 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat; 24 percent calories from fat); 32 g carbohydrates; 20 g sugar; 0 mg cholesterol; 248 mg sodium; 1 g protein; 6 g fiber.

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