Spicy Minty Quince Salad

Quince Salad

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

Prep Work

  1. 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.
  2. Remove skins from a medium onion.  Slice and chop into chunks.
  3. Wash and chop fresh mint
  4. Peel and grate fresh ginger
  5. Optional: slice sausage for grilling.

Cooking Directions

  • 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.


Additional Information

Vegetables 101: What Is Jicama? A Veggie Venture. posted by  Alanna Kellogg. St Louis, Missouri.  Accessed December 24, 2016.

Quince. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quince. Accessed December 24, 2016.

Love Pears and Apples? It’s Time to Learn How to Cook With QuinceWritten By . 5. http://www.bonappetit.com/ingredient/quince. Accessed December 24, 2016.


About Caliche Chick

I retired from a career as an Environmental Scientist and Botanist. My first career was teaching science and English as a Second Language (ESL), and content classes for ESL students at the middle school level. I also taught introductory biology at the community college level. I have an avid interest in plants that grow with little to no irrigation. I also keep a vegetable garden, fruit trees, and back yard chickens. When I am not in my yard, I am taking Construction Technology Classes at Victor Valley College and working on my "fixer upper" home.
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4 Responses to Spicy Minty Quince Salad

  1. Pingback: Mystery Blogger Award 2017 | Caliche Challenge

  2. Karen says:

    We had one quince tree in our orchard in New England and when I picked and brought some into my kitchen, you could smell its perfume for days.

    Liked by 1 person

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