Roast pears with bay, shallots and juniper

An easy roasted pear recipe by River Cottage chef Gill Meller to enjoy as a tasty side dish as part of your festive feast

Roast pears in tin
Published: December 1st, 2018 at 6:25 pm
  • Easy
  • Serves 6 as a side dish

For something different on Christmas day, why not make this easy roasted pear side dish - a perfect accompaniment to a meat or vegetarian main.


  • 4 Juniper berries
  • 4 Cloves
  • ½ Orange zest, pared rather than grated
  • 1 large knob of butter, softened
  • 6 Pears, aim for medium-ripe
  • 4 Shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 Bay leaves
  • ½tsp Olive oil
  • Ground black pepper


  • STEP 1

    Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4

  • STEP 2

    Crush the juniper and cloves in a pestle and mortar, until fairly fine. Add the orange zest and butter and crush to a buttery paste.

  • STEP 3

    Peel the pears, then quarter them and remove the cores. Arrange the pears in a suitably-sized roasting tray. Take the soft spiced butter and dot it all over the pears.

    Pears in roasting tin
    Arrange the pears in a suitably sized baking tray (Matt Austin)

  • STEP 4

    Scatter over the shallots and bay leaves and trickle over the olive oil.

  • STEP 5

    Season the pears well with salt and pepper.

  • STEP 6

    Place the tray in the hot oven and roast for 20–30 minutes or until tender, turning once or twice with a spatula. The pears and shallots should be lovely and soft and caramelising around the edges when you take them out. Serve at once.


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