Pears are a perfect fruit for charring and this charred pears with harissa chickpeas is an incredible way to use them.
This recipe for charred pears and harissa chickpeas is a midweek dream recipe. It only takes a few ingredients and you’ll have a sweet, smoky, healthy vegan dinner on your table in about 30 minutes.
Pears are a perfect fruit for charring. They char easily but they are healthy and this is an easy way to add some fiber to your diet. You can use a wide variety of fruit in this dish. Try it with apples, grapes (roasted, not pan-fried), plums, nectarines, or even peaches.
How to Make Charred Pears with Harissa Chickpeas:
When I say this recipe is easy, believe me! You just need one skillet and you just need to prep two ingredients: the pears and the onion.
First, cut the pears into quarters and scoop out the seeds. Next, heat a little oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pears and cook, cut-side down, for 2-5 minutes until well-charred. The sugars may burn just slightly, but you want to let the pears develop a nice char. Tip the pears over and allow the other cut-side cook for 2-5 minutes until charred. You don’t need to cook the skinned side of the pear.
Now, if you’re using quite underripe pears, you’ll want to allow them to cook longer over lower heat to soften completely. I used ripe pears so they were already pretty soft, so I only needed to char the cut-sides of the pears.
Next, toss in the onions and allow them to cook until softened. If you like, add a pat or two of plant-based or dairy butter. Once frothy, add harissa paste (or spices like chili powder, paprika, and cayenne) and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Now it’s time to add your vegetable stock and chickpeas. Let it hard simmer for about 15 minutes until it begins to reduce slightly and that’s really it! Throw in some spinach or arugula and once wilted, you’re ready to serve!
I garnished my dish with beet microgreens, but you can garnish with minced parsley, scallions, or cilantro.
Looking for more vegan recipes? Check my archives!
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Charred Pears with Harissa Chickpeas
- Wide skillet
- 4 pears quartered and seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon oil for frying
- 1 yellow onion peeled and sliced into half-moons
- 1 tablespoon plant-based butter optional
- 1-2 tablespoons harissa paste or use a mix of chili powder, paprika, and cayenne powder
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 15- ounce cans chickpeas drained
- 3 ounces baby spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Flaky sea salt optional
- Minced parsley or any herb of your choice optional, for garnish
Cook the pears:
- Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pears in batches, cut-side down, and cook without moving for 2-5 minutes. The sugars may burn slightly, but you want to get a nice char. Tip the pear onto the other cut side and cook that side until it chars; an additional 2-5 minutes.
- You don’t need to cook the skin side of the pear. If your pears aren’t very ripe, you’ll want to cook them a little longer to allow them to soften, but very ripe pears don’t need to cook long. Transfer the charred pears to a plate and sprinkle with salt.
Cook the onion:
- Add the onion to the skillet and cook for 8-10 minutes until it begins to soften—season with salt and pepper. Melt the plant-based butter (if using) into the onion. Once frothy, add the harissa paste (or spices) and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Simmer the chickpeas:
- Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the chickpeas. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the broth has reduced slightly and the onions have softened–about 15 minutes. If the liquid reduces too much, add a bit more stock or water—taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the spinach and cook for 5 minutes until wilted. Turn off the heat.
- Ladle the chickpeas between bowls and arrange the charred pear on top. Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. Enjoy!