What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

September 6, 2011

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Bartlett Pears

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Bartlett Pears

Paired with cheese, eaten out of hand, baked into a tart or sliced and added to a burger, pears have much to offer. Try some of these recipes:

Dashing Ranch Family Favorites

Eiran Ben-Dashan of Dashing Ranch grows dry-farmed, organic heirloom Bartlett pears in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Here are some of his favorite ways to serve the pears:

  • Peel a fresh, ripe Bartlett with a peeler, if you want, and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Brush with butter and grill until caramelized, then sprinkle with cinnamon and top with a dollop of ice cream.
  • Half and core a fresh, ripe Bartlett, then cut the halves in half, creating 4 wedges. Place in a grill basket or fish holder and grill until both sides are browned, giving them a smokey, caramelized flavor.
  • Dehydrate the pears.
  • Make pear jam
  • Make pear Mostarda, a pear mustard, and use it as a spread for a sandwich with brie cheese.


Caramelized Pears With Prosciutto And Balsamic Syrup

Caramelized Pears With Prosciutto And Balsamic Syrup. Recipe and photo courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa's Catering in San Carlos.

This recipe, courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos, pairs together flavors that only enhance each other when served together. Delicious! Serves 6, 30 minutes to make.


  • 3 cups Sigona’s 6-12 year aged balsamic
  • 6 ripe Bartlett ripe pears (Bartletts are local and in season now)
  • 1 fresh lemon, cut in half
  • kosher salt & Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 24 slices of prosciutto d Parma (about 1/2 pound)
  • 4 cups organic arugula, cleaned
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces gorgonzola cheese (Mountain gorgonzola is my favorite but gorgonzola Dolce would be great as well)

Directions: Peel each pear, discarding the skin. Slice each pear into quarters and remove the core. Then slice each quarter in 2 (you should have 48 pieces). **While you are cutting the pears, place in a mixing bowl and toss with a squeeze of the fresh lemon juice. Season the pears with salt and black pepper. Add the sugar and toss well, coating each piece completely. In a large stainless steel pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When the butter is hot, add the pears, sliced side down, cook until the pears start to caramelize, about 2 to 3 minutes, flip over and caramelize the other side. Remove the pears from the stove. Toss the arugula with olive oil salt and pepper.

In a medium-saucepan, over medium heat, add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid reduces by 3/4, about 30 minutes or until syrup-like consistency. Remove from the heat and cool completely (yields about 1/4 cup).

To serve, place a small mound of dressed arugula in the center of each plate. Place 2 pear slices on each slice of prosciutto and roll prosciutto around the pears. Place 2 or 3 prosciutto and pear bundles on/around each mound of arugula. Crumble the cheese over the pears or cut into long triangles. Drizzle each plate with some of the balsamic syrup.

Pear Puree for Baby

It’s simple, it’s healthy and it freezes beautifully. Whip up a batch for baby and freeze it in small portions.

What you need:

  • Two Bartlett pears, rinsed well and dried (make more if you like)
  • Water
  • A sauce pan
  • Food Processor or a food mill

Directions: Peel pears, then halve and remove the core (use a melon baller or spoon). Dice the pear into small chunks and place in the sauce pan. Cover with water by 1 inch.

Bring the pear mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes, or until the pear is quite tender.

Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Transfer mix to a food processor and blend until pureed (a smooth mixture with no chunks).

If serving right away: cool to a temperature ok for baby. Refrigerate the rest or freeze.

If freezing: spoon puree into a clean ice cube tray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until frozen through or over night. Transfer cubes to a freezer bag and keep in the freezer to thaw and use a needed. Will keep for up to 30 days. To thaw, either place a cube or two in a clean dish and let thaw on the counter or warm it slightly in the microwave, checking the temp before feeding baby.

Fresh Pear And Almond Tart

Another pear recipe from Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos. The sweetness of pears adds to an entrée, but is a welcome addition to any dessert. Instructions for poaching fresh pears are included, but if you want to save time, do what other French women in a hurry do — use canned pear halves. Just drain the canned pears, dry them very well, and carry on. Serves 8, takes 80 minutes to make.

Fresh Pear and Almond Tart. Recipe and photo courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa's Catering in San Carlos.


For Pears:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 medium-size firm but ripe bosc pears, peeled (each about 7 ounces)


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Almond Filling:

  • 2/3 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • powdered sugar (optional)


For pears: Bring 4 cups water, sugar, and lemon juice to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pears. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until pears are very tender, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool pears in syrup. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For crust: Blend powdered sugar, almonds, and salt in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and blend until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Mix in egg yolk. Add flour. Using on/off turns, blend until dough comes together in clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

For almond filling: Finely grind almonds and flour in processor. Mix in 7 tablespoons sugar, then butter, blending until smooth. Mix in egg. Transfer filling to medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Roll out chilled dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to 12-inch round, lifting and turning dough occasionally to free from paper. Using paper as aid, turn dough into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom; peel off paper. Seal any cracks in dough. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in, making double-thick sides. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 10 minutes.

Line crust with buttered foil, buttered side down, then fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake crust until sides are golden and bottom is set, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 10 minutes longer. Cool crust in pan on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Spread almond filling evenly in crust. Stem pears and cut each in half lengthwise; scoop out cores. Cut each half crosswise into thin slices. Gently press each pear half to fan slices but keep slices tightly overlapped. Slide spatula under pears and arrange atop filling like spokes of wheel with narrow ends in center.

Bake tart until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool tart in pan on rack. Push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Cut tart into wedges; sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve.

Rachael Ray’s Turkey Burgers with Poached Pears and Pepper Relish

Don’t make us twist your arm…the poached pear on this burger, topped with melted cheese, will keep you coming back for more. Our marketing manager, Christine, makes this for guests and recommends making a few with jalapeno jelly and a few with Sigona’s Red Pepper Relish to give guests an option. Serves 6.


  • 2 lbs. ground turkey breast
  • 4 green onions, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 TBL Dijon mustard
  • Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 TBL fresh thyme, chopped (fresh makes a difference)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Bartlett pear, firm but ripe, cut lengthwise into six 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 TBL (Sigona’s Fresh Press Picual) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (such as Sigona’s Moo-net)
  • 4 TBL (Sigona’s Red Pepper Relish) or jalapeño jelly
  • 4 extra-large English muffins, split and toasted (Sourdough is nice)

For a picture of the finished burger, visit Rachael Ray’s official website.

Directions: in a medium size bowl, combine the turkey, green onions, mustard, lemon peel and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Shape into six 3/4 inch-thick patties.

In a small nonstick skillet, add the pear slices, wine, lemon juice and enough water to just cover the pear. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the pear is softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pear slices to a plate.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the turkey patties and cook, turning once, for 12 minutes. Top with the cheese and pear slices, tent the pan with foil and cook until the cheese is melted, 2 minutes.

Spread 1 tablespoon hot pepper jelly on each English muffin bottom; top with a patty and an English muffin top.

French-style Moo-na Lisa & Pear Panini

Moo-na Lisa is a cheese made exclusively for Sigona’s by a local creamery. This recipe was developed by one of our Redwood City cheese specialists, specifically for this cheese as it pairs perfectly with pears. Enjoy! Serves 2.


  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 TBL stone-ground Dijon mustard
  • 1 ripe Bartlett pear (firm, but ripe), thinly sliced
  • 2 oz. Sigona’s Moo-na Lisa cheese, sliced
  • 1-2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions: Preheat a Panini maker or griddle over medium to medium-high heat. Brush each side of the bread with olive oil. Layer slices of pear on 2 pieces of bread and sprinkle with a bit of pepper. Top with slices of Moo-na Lisa. Place the remaining oiled slices of bread on top of the dressed slices and place in the Panini maker or on the griddle.

Grill (flipping once if using a griddle) until nicely browned on both sides and the Moo-na Lisa is melted. Serve immediately.


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