Cooked bacon wrapped pears in rows on a rectangular metal serving tray.

Bacon Wrapped Pears

Appetizers which require only a few real-food ingredients, look attractive and get gobbled up quickly are in high demand this time of year. Whether you’re attending an autumn dinner party or hosting a New Year’s Eve gathering, add these Bacon Wrapped Pears to your short list of appetizers to consider. They’re an awesome addition to just about any planned menu or potluck!

Have you ever tasted roasted pears? Fresh pears are tasty, but roasting takes them to a whole new level of yumminess! Caramelized pear tastes sweeter and more refined than the fresh fruit. And contrasting in many ways, the bacon is the perfect compliment, making my Bacon Wrapped Pears a true treat. Sweet and salty, savory and cinnamon-y. Don’t pass up this recipe, seriously. You’ll be missing out!

While the prep work is easy, it’s a bit tedious. Coring and cutting the pears is a cinch. As is cutting the bacon pieces in half length-wise. However, wrapping the individual pieces of bacon around the pear slices and skewering with an appetizer pick is the part which requires a little more attention and patience. To speed things up, I recommend creating a mini assembly line by having all the ingredients prepared and kitchen gear ready before you begin the bacon-wrapping. And, if you can recruit an assistant, more hands make for lighter work, of course!Uncooked bacon wrapped pear slices laying on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

While you can wrap the bacon around the pear slices any way you like, I think creating an “X” or “criss-cross” pattern around each pear slice is the most attractive pattern. Although, simply winding the bacon around the pear would save you a few minutes of prep time, and will obviously taste the same.

You may like to skewer each pear slice with an appetizer pick to make it easier to eat – saving the food from being manhandled on the serving tray (yuck!) and saving guests from having sticky or greasy fingers. If you stick the pick through the bacon, it may help it stay in place, too. However, this is not necessarily needed depending on how the bacon is placed. And it is easier to slide the appetizer picks through the pear only, going around the bacon. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.

Appetizer picks are superior to toothpicks, in this instance, though toothpicks will do in a pinch. Choose appetizer picks with a squared-off or rectangular post, if possible. These will work better, preventing the cooked pear from sliding or spinning on a round post on the way to your mouth!Cooked bacon wrapped pears, fresh out of the oven, sitting on a rack on top of a baking sheet.

Serve these pears warm or at room temperature – but not cold! They’re best when eaten fresh, so I don’t recommend making these far in advance. If you bake them at home, then pop them in the oven for a few minutes to reheat when you get to your destination, this works well and won’t monopolize the host’s oven space. A considerate guest is one who gets invited back. And a guest who brings these Bacon Wrapped Pears gets a repeat invite, too 🙂

Bacon Wrapped Pears

Crisped bacon wrapped around slices of cinnamon spiced roasted pear. An ideal appetizer for Fall and Winter gatherings and special meals. 
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 ripe pears, cored and cut into wedges
  • 12 oz bacon, strips cut length-wise
  • cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Making a criss-cross pattern, wrap a bacon strip around each pear slice. Slide appetizer pick through the middle of each pear slice. 
  • Place bacon wrapped pear slices on a rack on a rimmed baking sheet (rack not necessary in order to make recipe). Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Bake for 35 minutes, or until pears are tender and bacon is cooked.
  • Remove from oven. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before plating or eating.

Notes

Best eaten immediately, or if covered for a short period of time and reheated in oven for a few minutes. 
Number of servings depends on number of people eating and how much other food is available. May serve more or less depending.

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate

Quick – it’s cold outside, and you want a veggie side dish that is not a cold salad. What do you do?? Crank up the oven, throw some veggies on a baking sheet, and 30 minutes later, you’ve got happy taste buds and a warm tummy!

If you’re like me, sometimes you crave variety in the way your food is prepared. So even though my instinct is to make a salad or roast whatever vegetable I have in my kitchen, I am always looking for new ways to do the familiar (aka make dinner).

And so, last night we had this warm Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate side dish. My little guy happily ate it up – the pomegranate contributed to this, full disclosure, but the brussel sprouts were eaten right along with it! He’s got good taste in fruit, for sure. Luckily for him (and me!), I learned a easy way to separate all the juicy, delicious jewels – they’re actually called pomegranate arils (or seeds) – from the papery, cream colored membrane lining the inside of the entire fruit. Even better, it doesn’t look like a massacre occurred in my kitchen when I’m all done, nor have I ruined any clothing or white kitchen tile grout!

The way I prepare the pomegranate is unique to other fruit. First grab a medium sized bowl big enough to fit both of your hands plus the pomegranate in at the same time while being fully submerged in water. Also, take out a plastic cutting board with a ridge around the perimeter and kitchen knife. Choose plastic instead of wood if you don’t like your board getting stained! Fill up the bowl almost to the top with water warm enough to be a pleasant temperature – no need to have freezing cold hands while doing this! Cut the pomegranate in half; the cutting board ridge will catch any juice which decides to run. Place the pomegranate halves in the bowl, under water. Working on one half at a time, gently peel the pomegranate arils out of the membrane layers while being sure to keep the fruit submerged. The water will prevent juice spatters like a charm! The papery membrane floats to the top of the water, while the arils sink towards the bottom. As a result, skimming off the membrane pieces is a cinch, leaving all the goodness behind!

You could, of course, buy ready-to-eat pomegranate from the refrigerated produce section in your store. However, I find the often cloudy liquid in which the arils are sitting in unappetizing and makes me question their freshness. I’ll stick with prepping my own! When it’s this easy to eat pomegranate, you might find new ways to eat more, too!

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate

Roasted brussel sprouts pair up with crispy, salty bacon and juicy, sweet pomegranate in this cold weather dish. (AIP, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds brussel sprouts, quartered
  • 12 ounces bacon, cut into 1" strips
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • On a baking sheet, evenly spread brussel sprouts, bacon, and red onion. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place baking sheet in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brussel sprouts are cooked through.
  • Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Cook about 5 more minutes, until brussel sprouts and bacon are browned and crispy. Remove from oven.
  • Mix 1 Tbsp olive oil with pomegranate molasses. Drizzle over brussel sprout mixture. Sprinkle fresh pomegranate on top. Serve warm.

Notes

Best served immediately. If preparing in advance, wait to add fresh pomegranate until after reheating brussel sprouts.

 


Sweet Potato Salad with Stoneground Mustard and Bacon

While the calendar says it’s October, we’ve still been getting some 80 degree days. Anytime it’s nice and warm on a sunny weekend, a part of me is thinking about standard picnic fare, such as potato salad – or at least a twist on it.

Traditional and tasty as potato salad may be, sometimes a mayo-based salad with white potatoes just isn’t what you’re looking for. Maybe your friend has an egg allergy, so store-bought mayonnaise is out. Or maybe your cousin doesn’t tolerate white potatoes, a member of the “nightshade” vegetable family which is sometimes problematic for people with certain health conditions such as autoimmune diseases. Or maybe you’re just looking to shake things up a bit and try something new. Either way, this recipe is for you!

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The creamy potatoes contrast well with the crunch of the fresh vegetables. And the stoneground mustard dressing and bacon provide a punch of flavor! Dig in and enjoy! This sweet potato salad is tasty alongside grilled chicken or ribs, among other things.

You may have been expecting the sweet potatoes in the picture to be orange in color, and noticed they were more golden. This is because I used a specific variety of sweet potato called a Hannah sweet potato. If you’re unfamiliar with Hannah sweet potatoes, or white sweet potatoes, now is the perfect time to get acquainted.

In comparison with traditional, orange sweet potatoes, these babies are less sweet and have a more mild flavor. They also have less moisture and seem starchier. In short, my impression is that they’re somewhat of a cross between a white potato and a regular sweet potato in terms of taste and texture. These characteristics not only lend themselves well for making a potato salad, but also sweet potato fries – but that will have to wait for another post! Now the only potential downside to these is their limited availability, at least in my locale. In my area, the only store in which I have found these tasty beauties for sale is Whole Foods. However, some people in other locations find them readily available in their stores. They’re worth the hunt though, I promise!

 

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Sweet Potato Salad with Stoneground Mustard and Bacon

Flavorful sweet potato salad with crispy bacon bites and zesty stoneground mustard dressing. (paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting Time2 hrs
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large Hannah sweet potatoes (whit sweet potatoes)
  • 12 ounces bacon
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 mini cucumber
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 4 green onions
  • 1/3 cup light tasting olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp palm shortening
  • ½ lemon, juice of
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼ cup stoneground mustard
  • Himalayan pink salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Place sweet potatoes in a pot and fill with water, ensuring the sweet potatoes are fully covered. Bring to a boil on high heat.
  • Cook sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the potato pieces. The potatoes should be tender, yet still firm.
  • When potatoes are cooked, remove from heat and drain water completely. Transfer potatoes into a bowl and refrigerate for a few hours until chilled.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooling in the refrigerator, make the dressing by combining the olive oil, palm shortening, lemon juice, and ½ tsp salt in a bowl.
  • Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, blend ingredients on high until liquid becomes creamy. This should only take about 1 minute.
  • Next, add the stoneground mustard. Mix until combined; then refrigerate.
  • Fry bacon until crispy. Remove from heat and allow bacon to cool. Roughly chop the bacon into small bite-sized pieces and set aside, refrigerating if prepared in advance.
  • After the sweet potatoes have chilled, take them out of the refrigerator.
  • Finely dice the red onion, celery and cucumber. Add these vegetables and the dressing to the potatoes. Stir to combine until the potatoes are evenly coated with the mixture.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the bacon and lightly stir to distribute throughout. Sprinkle green onions on top.

Notes

May make in advance.