Pears are in season from late summer until winter, depending on the variety of pear. Bartlett pears kick off the pear season in late summer and by fall other varieties such as Bosc and Comice. For a great pear primer, head over to The City Cook for some basic pear info.

As you see local pears appearing on the tables at the farmers market and on the shelves in your grocery, think beyond simply biting into a juicy Bartlett or slicing up an Anjou on your mixed green salad. There are many delicious ways to include pears in your menu. Here are 5 6 of them.

Pear Clafouti – I made my first clafouti this summer – a plum clafoutis (looks like it can be spelled with or without the s) one with fruit from a friend’s tree. It was delicious. Ina Garten has a recipe for using pears in this rich, creamy dessert that could also be a great breakfast/brunch treat.

Bartlett Pear and Gorgonzola Bruchetta – Pears and any kind of blue cheese are always a great marriage. This easy appetizer takes about 15 minutes to make and would be perfect for a cocktail or holiday party.

Pear Butter – If you’ve got a lot of pears, this spicy, sweet, tangy spread is made with 4 to 5 pounds of pears. The butter can be stored in the refrigerator if you don’t want to follow the proper way to can them so they can be stored at room temperature.

Pear Baby Food – If I could go back and do it again, I would make all my own baby food from fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have a little one that’s eating baby food, try making your own pear baby food. It includes an option to thicken it up for older infants by adding some banana.

Cranberry-Pear Wild Rice Stuffing – Dried cranberries and fresh pears are used in this healthier, vegetarian version of stuffing (of course, if you stuff it into a roasting chicken or the Thanksgiving turkey, it negates the vegetarian part).

Bonus:

I had to bring your attention once again to the Breast of Chicken and Pear Slices with Port & Stilton Cream recipe that I posted last month.  

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.