Roast pears with bay, shallots and juniper

  • Serves 6 as a side dish
  • Easy

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

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

Celeriac and potato dauphinoise


  • Juniper berries 4
  • Cloves 4
  • Orange zest 1/2, pared rather than grated
  • Butter 1 large knob, softened
  • Pears 6, aim for medium-ripe
  • Shallots 4, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Bay leaves 8
  • Olive oil 1/2 tsp
  • 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.