our own freshly harvested Comice pears (Pyrus communis)
After pressing the majority of our Bartlett pears into cider, some of which we combined with the juice of ripe Roma apples, we made a point of reserving our delicious Comice pears for eating raw. The large pear has the juiciest, creamiest fruit, and its flavors combine well paired with goat’s cheese or mint, or tossed in a salad with arugula and walnuts. Over the weekend I plan to experiment with using the pear in a fennel soup, the feathery green plants being such an abundant roadside crop this time of year. It would be so easy to forage a few fennel bulbs while cycling out to the coast, past the white egrets of the estuary.
I’d love to hear of any ideas for preparing the Comice pear, whose name derives from Doyenne duÂ Comice (‘top of the show’). Meanwhile, here’s an idea for a Comice pear and fennel soup:
Comice Pear and Fennel Soup
Roughly chop 2 or 3 (if small) bulbs fresh fennel.
Combine with 1 small onion, chopped.
Cook the vegetables in butter over medium heat until tender,
adding about a tablespoon or two of water.
Add two Comice pears, chopped.
Cover the mixture with chicken broth and simmer until pears are tender.
Blend the mixture and serve with fresh ground pepper.