Sweet Panzanella with Pink Pears

This recipe was originally published as part of a menu in Tasting Table National

TT Test Kitchen Tip: Diminutive Seckel pears have a sweet, spicy flavor and firm flesh, which makes them a perfect fit in this sweet bread salad. If you can't find Seckels, substitute either Anjou or Comice.

Sweet Panzanella With Pink Pears
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Make Sweet Panzanella with Pink Pears
Servings
4
servings
Ingredients
  • 6 to 8 Seckel pears--peeled, cored and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
  • 1 whole star anise
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 cups day-old brioche bread cubes
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a square baking dish, arrange the pears and drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the wine, sugar, vanilla-bean seeds and pod, star anise, salt and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Heat until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts, stirring occasionally, then pour the mixture over the pears. Place in the oven and bake, basting occasionally, until the pears are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. While the pears are baking, place the bread cubes in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and melted butter. Drizzle over the bread cubes and toss well. Spread the bread on a sheet pan in a single layer. Place in the oven and bake until the bread begins to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. To serve, toss the warm bread cubes, pears and a few spoonfuls of the pear sauce together in a large bowl. Divide among 4 bowls and serve immediately.
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