Category Archives: brunch

fruit roll-ups

Wow, the 125th post on A Pear to Remember. Let’s start at the beginning—of the day, that is. Americans face abundant breakfast options for a sweet start to the day:


It’s a shame my lactose intolerance means I can’t pile those whole grain Reese’s puffs in a bowl of cold milk—surely you know my love for cuisine inspired by late-night desserts? Because I can’t enjoy milk and cereal (finding lactaid “milk” intolerable), and I get awfully bored with repeated meals, I’ve been concocting interesting dishes to supply my morning calories.

As part of my Nutrition graduate studies, this summer I’m fully engrossed in Introduction to Epidemiology—you can imagine the fuel one needs to take those exams… and I don’t mean in the form of “Hot Fudge Sundae” pop-tarts. So I wrapped up a sweet, high-fiber, high protein breakfast that satisfies until my beloved lunchtime study break.

Walnut and Ricotta Breakfast Wraps

a regular Linvention, makes four wraps

6 walnuts

3 tbsp. ricotta cheese (low-fat if you prefer)

1/4 cup chopped strawberries (other berries or peaches; fresh and frozen work)

2 whole wheat tortillas

optional, tasty garnishes:


fresh mint

With a food processor

Blend berries, ricotta, and walnuts. Add a splash of milk or juice to loosen if necessary.

Without a food processor

Combine thinly sliced berries, ricotta, and walnuts (crushed into very small pieces) in a bowl.

Taste your ricotta-fruit mixture and adjust to your liking. Spread the mixture onto each tortilla, sprinkling lightly with cinnamon/mint if using. Roll tightly and slice each in half at a diagonal. Enjoy with coffee or juice!

photos from here, here, and here

Andrew and I have been obsessed starting our day with Newman’s Own Special Blend medium roast. What’s your favorite morning beverage?


Filed under brunch, health, lickety-quick, small bites

summer preview

My hubby Andrew is always anticipating the summer blockbusters… and I’m always anticipating summer produce. Since we’ve been busy house-hunting (a bigger kitchen in our future?) and attending grad school full-time (just me in that case), here’s a preview of upcoming—mostly original!—recipes I’ve got for you on A Pear to Remember:

breakfast ricotta berry roll-ups

farmer’s herbed summer casserole

orecchiette with corn saute

crunchy cornmeal plum galette


What is your favorite summer fruit or vegetable? Share in the comment section.

cooking in our kitchen this week:

cheese flautas with cilantro pesto + summer tomatoes

lemon arugula pistachio pasta + leafy salad

edamame rice bowls + steamed potstickers

paneer and chicken masala + basmati and naan

leftovers 🙂


Filed under brunch, dessert, dinners, health, here to share

red white and blue brunch

My birthfather stopped in for a very brief brunch this morning (behind-the-scenes photos here). Andrew asked how I could keep calling it a brunch after we rescheduled for 9am? I told him that’s how I could get away with serving tomatoes.

A varied and truly tasty menu, for next Saturday at your place perhaps. Hours of prep work the night before? Waking up at 5am to get that casserole in the oven? Not with this menu. Start to finish, this entire meal begins and makes its way to the table within 40 minutes.

Red: French Toast with Sautéed Tomatoes

Such a surprise. They sounded so good on the page, and did not disappoint.

from Easy Vegetarian, serves 4

4 eggs

1/4 cup milk

4 slices bread (white whole wheat was perfect)

4 tbsp. butter

8 ripe tomatoes, halved (we halved grape tomatoes)

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large, shallow dish and beat well. Add the bread and let it soak 5 minutes so all the egg mixture is absorbed. (What an amazing technique for luscious French toast)!

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Melt the butter in a separate skillet. Add the halved tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes on each side. Put the hot French toast on a warm plate and serve topped with the sautéed tomatoes.

White and Blue: Homemade Berried Yogurt

Don’t worry: the yogurt itself is store-bought. Making a fresh berry mixture to stir in is heavenly—and will forever turn you off to those watery aspartame yogurt cups, I hope. Eesh.

tweaked from Easy Vegetarian, serves 4-6

8 oz. fresh blueberries, about 1.5 cups

half a lemon, zested and juiced

a pinch of ground cinnamon

2 and 3/4 cups plain yogurt (cannot use low-fat for this dish; 2% Greek over here)

agave nectar to taste

Reserve a few of the best berries for serving and put the remainder in a small saucepan. Add the lemon zest, cinnamon, and 1 tbsp. water. Heat gently for about 3 minutes until the berries just start to soften slightly. Let cool.

Spoon the berries into glasses, then add the yogurt and agave nectar (start with about 1/2 tablespoon and taste). Top with the reserved berries. You can also just serve this in a big bowl, as we did.

For the guys, Andrew made omelettes with Dubliner cheese and chopped peppadews. On the side, we served sautéed baby potatoes with caramelized onions, pink orange wedges, coffee, and pomegranate-blueberry juice (our most recent Trader Joes obsession).

Brunch is definitely my new favorite way to start the weekend. Next time: honey-roasted peaches with ricotta and coffee-bean sugar.

Easy Vegetarian is an excellent cookbook, with brunch and dinner inspirations galore. For more on this and my other favorite cookbooks, just click here.


Filed under brunch, budget, health, lickety-quick, techniques

a pear (salad) to remember

Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett

Indulgent, perhaps, but I had to stop at the store and buy myself a teriffic ingredient or two to survive paper-writing and tonight’s late-late grad class. (And maybe even treat myself to a freshmade pretzel roll at Whole Foods). Because it was an exhausting day and a night full of work and I might convince myself that I deserve a treat.

The truth is, ever since this month’s Vegetarian Times arrived in the mail, I have been staring at my purple post-it notes popping out, desperate for an excuse to make these meals I’ve been coveting…

How could I pass up the full-page photo this gorgeous salad??? So delightful, rewarding and sweet, I must share with you while pears are in season.

A fast, elegant meal–perfect for lunch or a light supper with fresh bread. Simply slice pears, fill them with a teaspoon of something delectable, bake briefly and serve over salad.

Roasted Pear Salad with Chevre and Fig Vinaigrette

from the October 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times, serves 8

4 pears, halved and cored (Bosc, Comice, Concorde or Bartlett)

8 tsp. plus 2 Tbsp. fig jam, divided (love Organic Adriatic Fig Spread)

look for this jar of fig spread near the olives or fresh cheese.

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

4 cups watercress or baby arugula

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

You can adapt this salad with another cheese (bleu, mmm), salad mixture, or leave the onions out (in case your pantry is empty like mine). The warm baked pears over fresh greens is the real treat. And these measurements don’t need to be taken too seriously–it’s an easy dish you can customize to your liking. You may look at this, think it looks appealing but it’s not really the kind of thing you’d ever make. Have faith and reconsider.

Preheat the oven (or toaster oven for a small portion like mine) to 375F. Place pear halves cut-side up in baking dishes (or a baking sheet lined with parchment).

Spoon 1 tsp. jam in the center of each pear half. Top with goat cheese rounds, and lightly drizzle with oil.


Bake the pears about 30 minutes, or until the cheese begins to brown.


For the dressing: whisk together remaining 2 Tbsp. fig jam, lemon juice, and mustard in a bowl. Then whisk in 1 Tbsp. olive oil.

Divide the greens on your plates, sprinkle with onions and walnuts, then gracefully adorn your salad with these precious pears. Drizzle with the dressing. And, gosh darn it, take a picture.



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Filed under brunch, dinners, health, lickety-quick