Roasted Pears with Couscous and Winter Fruits

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  • 2 slightly ripe pears
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin
  • 1 cup sliced leeks or onions
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, raisins, mangoes, prunes, currants, pears, cherries; just one kind or any combination you like!)
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 2/3 cup couscous
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lemon wedges, toasted almonds and feta cheese, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400° F.

Cut pears in half lengthwise and remove the core. Place pear halves face down in a parchment paper-lined roasting pan and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until fork tender. They will caramelize in their own juices.

In a heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook cumin, onions and celery for 3 to 4 minutes until crisp-tender. Stir in dried fruit, saffron and couscous. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and remove it from the heat. Let couscous steam for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.

To serve: You have a choice! Cut pear halves into thin slices and fan one on each of 4 plates or just serve uncut, tilted at an angle. Mound with couscous and garnish with lemon wedges, toasted almonds and feta cheese.

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