Like a lot of well-intentioned people with CSAs who end up wasting food, I’ve had the bad habit of buying, say, a beautiful bunch of kale at the farmers’ market, only to wind up with a withered green mess in the bottom of my refrigerator a week later. Determined to change, I resolved to use the two-pound box of pears I couldn’t resist buying, even if it meant baking at midnight.

For inspiration I turned to Molly O’Neill’s massive One Big Table, which collects recipes from home cooks around the country (including a number from Chicago). O’Neill, a former food writer for the New York Times (and sister of former Yankees star Paul O’Neill), started the project in 2001, traveling 500,000 miles across the country and collecting more than 10,000 recipes, testing about a third of them before winnowing them down to about 600. I was intrigued by Alyce Byrchenough’s recipe for a pear crostada with blue cheese streusel, which follows after the jump.