Make Ahead

Fresh Pear Chutney

September 13, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
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) - AntoniaJames —AntoniaJames

Test Kitchen Notes

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! - Lizthechef —Lizthechef

What You'll Need
  • 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)
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • MBR
  • BlueKaleRoad
  • Bevi
  • Summer of Eggplant
    Summer of Eggplant
  • aargersi

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

See problem, solve problem. Ask questions; question answers. Disrupt, with kindness, courtesy and respect. ;o)

12 Reviews

MBR September 16, 2011
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.
BlueKaleRoad September 15, 2011
Wow, what a lovely combination of flavors! And I love your menus you shared.
Bevi September 15, 2011
This sounds so refreshing.
Summer O. September 14, 2011
Looks beautiful.
aargersi September 14, 2011
Sounds wonderful! We have all of this on hand, too!
lapadia September 14, 2011
Asian pears are calling me, this is oh so delicious!
yella September 14, 2011
healthierkitchen September 13, 2011
What a great idea! I also love that fish of pauljoseph's. This will be a great complement.
SKK September 13, 2011
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.
Lizthechef September 13, 2011
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.
EmilyC September 13, 2011
Another stellar recipe from you, AJ -- I love this. Good grief -- this is a good contest week...
AntoniaJames September 13, 2011
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)