Green tea is quite versatile. Beyond tea, it is an ingredient in ice cream, cookies, smoothies and many other dishes. Usually these latter recipes are made with the powdered green tea called matcha. For this recipe regular green leaves are used for the poaching liquid. Serve this with ice cream (green tea ice cream is great), or sweetened Greek yogurt or whipped cream. If you have matcha on hand, whisk 2 t matcha with 1 T very hot water, cool, then fold into the yogurt or whipped cream.

4 c water
1 1/2 T green tea leaves or 4 green tea bags
3/4 c sugar
1 T fresh, chopped ginger (no need to peel)
1 t almond extract
4 firm, ripe Bosc pears, peeled, halved, and cored
2 – 3 T toasted, sliced or finely chopped almonds

1. Pour water into a pot or large skillet that will hold the pear halves in a single layer. Bring to the boil then stir in the tea leaves or bags. Turn off the heat, cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain tea leaves or remove tea bags. Return tea to poaching vessel.

2. Add sugar, ginger, and almond extract and bring to a good simmer. Gently add pears, cut side up and poach over low heat until tender. A wooden skewer will enter the pear easily. Remove from heat and allow pears to cool in the poaching liquid.

3. Remove pears from pot or skillet, reserving some of the poaching liquid. Serve at room temperature, with a couple of tablespoons each of the poaching liquid poured over the pear halves and a dollop of ice cream, yogurt or whipped cream. Garnish with the toasted almonds.