Eats shoots & leaves
The simplest of things always seem to effortlessly satisfy the most complex emotions. A forest walk. A lungful of sea air. A good cup of tea. They salve our nerves and help create space in our ever-squeezed muggle minds.
So this week's recipe is simple. It aims to comfort, yet simultaneously uplift. Rooibos poached pears are perfect for days when your mind and your body need a tender touch. There is no baking or patience required. Maybe just the honeyed and haunting voice of Lisa Hannigan in the background, and a gentle breeze from the window.
Don't panic - I'll be back to my potty mouth and thuggish ways next week.
But for now, it's a toe dipped into the shallow end of self-care and battery charging. Rest and reset. Care to join me?
Makes 6 portions
You will need:
5 rooibos teabags
1L boiling water
180g coconut sugar
6 pears, peeled
Juice of 2 lemons
2 strips of lemon rind
Pistachios, to serve
Greek yoghurt, to serve
1 Put the rooibos teabags in a large Pyrex jug or teapot, and pour the litre of boiling water over them. Allow them to brew for 25 minutes.
2 Discard the teabags, and transfer your brew into a saucepan (it must be large enough to accommodate the six pears - without stacking them). Add the coconut sugar. Heat and stir until the sugar granules dissolve.
3 Now add the peeled pears, the lemon juice and the lemon rind. Put a lid on the saucepan and cook the pears gently until they are tender. You can check whether they are ready or not by sticking the sharp point of a knife into one of the pears. I find 20 minutes usually does the trick, but the cooking time depends on what variety of pear I bought, and how ripe the fruit is. You don't want mushy pears, so it's worth checking often.
4 Once the pears are tender, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and put them aside to cool. Remove the lemon rind. Meanwhile, boil the remaining liquid into a thick, viscous, lick-sticky syrup. The rooibos syrup is done as soon as you notice the volume of liquid has reduced considerably. It will further thicken upon cooling.
5 Serve the pears straight away, drizzled with the rooibos syrup, some crushed pistachios and clouds of Greek yoghurt. Or refrigerate them, and the rooibos syrup, for up to five days, and wait until the mood yodels.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine