Fresh Pear Chutney

By • September 13, 2011 15 Comments

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Author Notes: I serve dishes that include Indian spices several times a week, so I also make a lot of chutney. Some I put up in Mason jars for the dead of winter, while others (made primarily with cilantro and mint) are lacto-fermented. When autumn comes, however, and the first pears appear in the market, I love making fresh pear chutney. Last night we had this with pauljoseph’s fried fish, wrapped in freshly made roti with slices of roast eggplant. Tomorrow, we’ll have it with Merrill’s Saag Paneer. Use whatever just-ripe pears you have on hand. It’s also delicious with Asian pears. Enjoy!! ;o) - AntoniaJamesAntoniaJames

Food52 Review: Having studied AJ's carefully written recipes for over two years now, I have concluded she is one seriously terrific home chef. Her fresh pear chutney is no exception. Contrary by nature, I had to resist my impulse to tinker with her ingredients which came together perfectly. I was tempted to add a little diced jalapeno, but that might have overwhelmed the delicate flavor - and then it would be a salsa, right? This is a "keeper" and has been added to my recipe file. My husband thinks cilantro tastes like soap, so I ate the whole batch and called it lunch. Thumbs up! - LizthechefLizthechef

Serves 4

  • 2 medium shallot lobes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • Salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Pinch turbinado sugar
  • Tiny pinch of ground cumin
  • 2 pears, cored and coarsely chopped (peeling is optional)
  • ¾ cup peeled and coarsely chopped cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Freshly ground pepper (preferably white)
  1. Gently saute the sliced shallots in the vegetable oil with a tiny pinch of salt until the thin edges become light brown. Add the garlic and cook for another thirty seconds or so, stirring all the while.
  2. Remove the shallots and garlic from the pan, pressing to release into the pan the oil in which they cooked, and put them in the bowl in which you plan to make the chutney. Add the lime juice and vinegar to the pan with the infused oil, along with the sugar, and whisk to combine.
  3. Put the pears and cucumber in the bowl with the shallots and gently toss. Sprinkle the cumin over them, then pour the dressing on.
  4. Add the chopped cilantro and gently toss again. Test for salt and correct. Add a few grinds of white pepper.
  5. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. This is best at room temperature, and if you’re serving company, it’s best served no more than 4 or 5 hours after you make it. (The fruit breaks down a bit if held much longer.)
  6. Enjoy!! ;o)

More Great Recipes: Fruit|Condiments

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Comments (15) Questions (0)


almost 4 years ago MBR

This is fabulous. Served this w/freshly caught Block Island swordfish and squash/zucchini farrow. A perfect compliment. I let it sit covered for 2 hours which allowed everything to come together beautifully. Didn't have the specified sugar and used an English cuke that I had. No matter. It was and is great.


almost 4 years ago BlueKaleRoad

Wow, what a lovely combination of flavors! And I love your menus you shared.


almost 4 years ago Bevi

This sounds so refreshing.


almost 4 years ago Summer of Eggplant

Looks beautiful.


almost 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Sounds wonderful! We have all of this on hand, too!


almost 4 years ago lapadia

Asian pears are calling me, this is oh so delicious!


almost 4 years ago yella



almost 4 years ago healthierkitchen

What a great idea! I also love that fish of pauljoseph's. This will be a great complement.


almost 4 years ago SKK

Now this is the recipe I have been looking for! Simple, clean, beautiful, fresh and with cucumbers! Heaven! Thank you for posing this, AJ. It is a keeper.


almost 4 years ago Lizthechef

This looks lovely, AJ - love the idea of an "instant" chutney. I think I would peel the pears...Sometimes the texture of "pear peel" is too gritty for my liking.


almost 4 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I can imagine how good this was with pauljosephs fish and the homemade roti. The cooked shallots and garlic with the crunchy pears and cucumbers and spices sounds like a heavenly match,


almost 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, sdebrango. You could also use raw shallots, but I don't care for raw onions of any kind, even if they've been toned down in vinegar. Plus, cooking the shallots makes them so much sweeter, and flavors the dressing nicely. I can (and do) eat this stuff with a spoon. ;o)


almost 4 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm with you on the raw shallots and for that matter garlic too. Even for aioli I roast or confit the garlic. Its just way too sharp for my taste. This recipe is perfect.


almost 4 years ago EmilyC

Another stellar recipe from you, AJ -- I love this. Good grief -- this is a good contest week...


almost 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks so much, EmilyC! I agree, it's a great contest theme. I've saved so many recipes in the past several days, and I expect there will be quite a few more. ;o)