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Savory pears: This Thanksgiving’s “It” side dish

pearsFoods can be trendy, and Thanksgiving sides are no exception. Last year the Brussels spout reigned supreme, for example.

We surveyed the city’s best farm-to-table restaurants, and this is undoubtedly the year of the pear. Not baked into a sugary crust as dessert, but cooked as a delicious, savory side.

City Bakery is cooking up maple-baked pears, and One if by Land, Two if by Sea is roasting its Bartlett pears and tossing them with blue cheese and endive.

On the lighter side, raw foodie hotspot Pure Food and Wine is creating a pear ginger soup with carrot reduction and Locanda Verde is serving a pear salad with bitter greens, hazelnuts, and smoked speck.

Not only are pears good for your taste buds, they’re also good for the rest of you. “In addition to adding flavor, pears are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals—giving them the edge on sugar or other sweeteners,” says Jared Koch, the founder of Clean Plates.

“I like pears in a salad with blue cheese and walnuts, which seems like a tasty option as a Thanksgiving side,” says Jay Cheshes, Time Out New York‘s restaurant critic. “Generally speaking, fruit in savory sides seems like the perfect accompaniment to turkey.”

Ready to fold some pears into your Thanksgiving day (or future holiday) menu? We snagged Pure Food and Wine’s raw (and healthy) Pear Ginger Soup recipe. Get cooking! -Lisa Elaine Held

Anthony Buison, Sous Chef, Pure Food and Wine

Yield: 2 quarts

6 ripe pears
1 large shallot, roughly chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup Riesling wine
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup ginger juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Using a juicer, juice fresh ginger, unpeeled, to yield 1/2 cup of ginger juice. Set aside. Peel, core and rough chop ripened pears. Place them in a bowl with water covering them, and squeeze the juice of a lemon into the water. This will keep the pears from browning while you prepare the rest of the soup. Rough chop the shallots. Add pears, shallots, lemon juice, and Riesling into a Vitamix or high-speed blender and blend until smooth. After the puree has a smooth-looking consistency slowly pour olive oil to emulsify while blender is on high speed. After it has emulsified you should have a smooth creamy texture. Add ginger juice and salt, blend on high to incorporate.