One of the most productive plants in my yard is the quince. Passersby will often stop to ask, “What is that yellow fruit hanging over the fence?” When I answer, “Quince”, their confusion increases. “What is that? What do you do with it?”
Traditionally quince is used to make jams and preserves. With a diabetic in the house, there is a limited demand for jams. Necessity is the mother of invention. So, I cut open a quince and tasted it. Hmmm. Flavor is somewhat between an apple and a pear, but has a character of its own. The fruit is not very juicy, so most recipes for using the abundance of backyard fruit won’t work. Slightly dry, slightly sweet, starchy and crunchy. Hmmmm. Sort of like a very fragrant sweet potato or jicama. According to Bon Appetite, quince have too much tannin to be eaten raw. That may be true of some varieties. I don’t have this problem with fruit off of my tree. I don’t know if this is a variety quality or the result of the climate that I live in. So far, I have been using quince the same way I would use a sweet potato with great effect.
This recipe grills quince the same way that I would prepare potatoes for home fries. The grilled fruit is then chilled and marinated with a spicy, minty lime sauce. It is served with additional lime sauce on the side.
- 2 quince per serving.
- 1/4 yellow or white onion per serving.
- 1/4 sliced red onion per serving..
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.
- 1/2 cup lime juice or 50% lemon juice diluted with water.
- 1 or 2 sprigs of fresh mint
- 1/4 teaspoon chili paste (or curry paste)
- 1/2 inch freshly grated ginger
- Optional: sausage to taste
- Optional: dried cranberries and/or raisins to taste
- Optional: diced hot peppers
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Core and chop washed quince into sections. I leave the skin on, the fuzzy surface will cook off. If it bothers you, you can peel the quince the way you would peel and apple or potato.
- Remove skins from a medium onion. Slice and chop into chunks.
- Wash and chop fresh mint
- Peel and grate fresh ginger
- Optional: slice sausage for grilling.
- Place about a teaspoon of olive oil in a heavy skillet.
- Heat on a medium flame until a few drops of water sizzle.
- Add ginger, onion, sausage, quince and salt.
- Stir frequently until onion becomes clear or slightly tan, sausage is cooked and quince becomes slightly browned.
- Place in a container for chilling in the refrigerator.
- Add 2 to 3 table spoons of the lime sauce
- Add chopped or minced mint leaves.
- Toss to coat salad with sauce.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Simple Lime Sauce
You can use any lime sauce of your choice. This is a simple sauce to prepare.
- Soak thin slices of red onion or sweet onion in warm water with a pinch of salt for about an hour. Drain.
- Put drained onion slices in a serving bowl.
- In a separate container blend lime juice into olive oil while briskly mixing.
- Add chili paste or curry paste to taste.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add salt and water to adjust acidity to taste.
- Mix well and pour over onions.
- Add any of the following to taste:
- Hot peppers
- Sweet peppers
- Minced mint or fresh mint leaves
- Chill and serve to the side of the quince salad for guests to drizzle over salad to taste.
Love Pears and Apples? It’s Time to Learn How to Cook With Quince. Written By Claire Saffitz. 5. http://www.bonappetit.com/ingredient/quince. Accessed December 24, 2016.