Our love for salsa knows no bounds, and we consider ourselves pretty well-versed on the subject. But when we came across rhubarb salsa in the table of contents in Rhubarb, it was a new one--even for us.
With our curiosity piqued, it was one of the first recipes from Volume 20 that we tried, and these days, we’re swearing by the unconventional take on our favorite dip. The stalks add just the right amount of crunch and acid, while fresh pineapple brings sweetness. Pile it onto fish tacos, as author Sheri Castle does, or simply serve it alongside chips at your next party.(And don't forget to score your copy of Rhubarb for even more awesome uses for this spring ingredient.)
Fish Tacos with
FOR THE SALSA:
2 cups (8 ounces) finely diced fresh rhubarb
1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
1 jalapeño, very finely chopped (remove the seeds for less heat)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup pepper jelly or peach preserves
1/4 cup coarsley chopped cilantro
FOR THE TACOS
1 pound skinless catfish fillets, cut in half crosswise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Wondra or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine cornmeal
1 tablespoon chile powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 small tortillas, warmed, for serving
Make the salsa: In a bowl, stir together the rhubarb, pineapple, onion, lime zest and juice, jalapeño, salt and jelly. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Just before serving, add the cilantro, stir well and check the seasoning.
Make the tacos: Position a rack in upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°. Mist a rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray or line it with nonstick aluminum foil.
Season the fish all over with salt and pepper. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal and chile powder in a shallow dish. Stir together the mayonnaise and lime juice in a small bowl. Using a brush, spread a thin layer of the mayonnaise mixture on both sides of the fish, then coat with the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Arrange the fish in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until the crust is crisp and golden and the fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately in warm tortillas with the salsa.
(Photo: Lauren V. Allen)