Melanie Johnson's recipe makes the most of the season's fresh, juicy pears alongside a delicious bread recipe.
Versatile pears bring their subtle sweetness to late-summer dishes, says our kitchen garden cook Melanie Johnson.
It can be incredibly simple. Quarter some pears — removing the cores — and add them to an olive-oiled griddle pan, cooking until lightly charred. Serve on top of sourdough toast with slices of brie, candied walnuts (made by frying walnuts in caster sugar and butter, then leaving to cool) and balsamic-dressed rocket.
Recipe: Pear, rosemary and sea-salt focaccia
- 500g strong bread flour
- 2tspn sea salt
- 7g sachet instant yeast
- 450ml lukewarm water
- Olive oil for greasing
- 3 pears, sliced
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- Sea salt
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to serve (optional)
Add the flour, sea salt and yeast to a large bowl. Pour over the water and mix to form a sticky dough. Take a clean large bowl and add a generous splash of olive oil to the base, then swirl it around a little to coat. Put in the dough, turning it around, so it’s covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
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The next day, deflate the dough and roughly shape it into a ball, then leave it to undergo a second rise, at room temperature in the same bowl, covered with a clean, dry tea towel.
Heat your oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas mark 6. Line an oven tray, roughly 32cm by 22cm (12in by 9in) with baking paper. Pour a splash of olive oil onto the paper and spread it around evenly. With your oiled hands, scoop out the focaccia dough and spread it out on the baking tray, using your fingers to prod the dough and create dimples.
When the dough is ready to be baked, top it with pear slices, rosemary and sea salt. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden. Cool the focaccia on a wire rack and then cut and serve, together with a bowl of olive and balsamic oil to dip pieces into — never mind the drips.
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