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sautéed pears and parsnips in chili butter.

Posted Jan 27 2011 12:00pm

I think the following irony should be noted: I posted this yesterday. Then, I had a long, mentally strenuous day at work, and when I left my office an hour late, I stepped outside into little pellets of hail. I decided right then that I would rather drink some Shiraz than go to yoga. And so I did.

I woke up and yoga-ed on my own this morning, and I felt far more energized than I would have late last night, even if I missed out on a great instructor. Yay, flexibility.


sautéed pears and parsnips in chili butter; soft scrambled eggs with rehydrated dried figs and agave.


I love when a recipe celebrates simplicity. This one includes just four ingredients, and it needs nothing else.

I’ve been complaining internally [and well, via Twitter ] about the depressing sight that is the farmers market in mid-winter. The bounty is small, and the number of purveyors selling their goods seems to shrink with each week that goes by. The few vegetables all come from the same dull color family, that murky beige of parsnips, turnips, baby potatoes, cauliflower, bosc pears. I’ve even seen carrots in that sad shade. Greens are tough to find, and the last bunch of kale I purchased was coated in thin layer of frost.

Do we really still have three months until it’s time for asparagus and strawberries?

I’ve been racking my brain to dream up recipes that can bring a little joy to this monotonous vegetable season. Vibrant or not, I do enjoy the few pieces of produce that are available in January; I’m just tired of eating the same things.

With the help of a push out of my five-year stint of oatmeal for breakfast, I managed to make winter exciting this morning with a nice alternative breakfast. After washing off my yoga sweat in the shower, I sliced off a piece of butter and sautéed a fruit and a vegetable to brighten up the snowy gray.

I happily devoured half the recipe this morning alongside two eggs, scrambled for just one minute with a little milk, dried figs rehydrated in water, and a drizzle of agave. Paired with the parsnips, the pears, and the chili powder, the plate made for a delightful morning blend of the sweet and the savory.

This makes a lovely breakfast, topped with Greek yogurt or served with a side of eggs. You could have it as a side dish at dinner, or you could put it on some greens and call it a salad. You could heat it up for an afternoon snack, or you could eat it hot out of the pan with your fingers. I won’t tell.

The options here are limitless, and so is the deliciousness.

If you need further convincing to make this, I will tell you that after sitting down with my plate, I ate for a solid five minutes before I remembered to take a sip of my coffee. I think that says everything that needs to be said.


sautéed pears and parsnips in chili butter

  • 2 T organic butter
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 2 ripe bosc pears, sliced into 2″ by 1/4″ pieces
  • 4 medium parsnips, sliced into 2″ by 1/4″ pieces

Melt butter in sauté pan over medium heat. Add chili powder and toast 30 seconds. Add parsnips and sauté 5 minutes. Add pears and if necessary, add a tablespoon of water to deglaze the pan. Sauté 10 more minutes, until both pears and parsnips are soft. Serve warm, topped with a little extra butter.

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