Rhubarb Salsa

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | June 13th, 2019 | Appetizers, Recipes, Spreads & Sauces
Move over, tomatoes. Rhubarb is here for your tortilla chips!

Rhubarb Salsa

Move over, tomatoes. Rhubarb is here for your tortilla chips!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: mexican food, rhubarb, rhubarb salsa, salsa, salsa recipe
Author: Michele Pesula Kuegler


  • 1-½ cups diced rhubarb approximately 3 stalks
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ¾ cup diced green bell pepper approximately ½ medium pepper
  • ¼ cup minced jalapeno
  • cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 Tb. lime juice
  • 2 Tb. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt & pepper


  • Heat nonstick frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add diced rhubarb, and saute for 2 minutes
  • Sprinkle with sugar, and saute for additional minute
  • Transfer to mixing bowl.
  • Add pepper, jalapeno, onion, lime juice, and cilantro; toss well.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spring’s arrival was pretty late this year. Although the calendar says it started in mid-March, it didn’t feel very spring-like until mid-May this year. There were many days where soups and stews were the perfect dinner option to make me feel warm. And it wasn’t just me feeling this way. I think we had the heat running until late April.

However, spring is here and with it comes the first pieces of produce. Early in May I spotted fiddleheads at a local farmstand. I immediately bought a bag of them. Their season is so short that you need to buy them on first sight. That may be the only chance you get to cook with them.

Following closely on their heels is rhubarb. Like the fiddleheads, they have a short season and typically aren’t seen after that. As opposed to many other items, they don’t show up shipped in from some warmer climate at other times of the year.

What I might like best about rhubarb is its misunderstood nature. First of all, most people think of it as a fruit. It’s a vegetable. Second, because of its fruit presentation, many people think only of desserts that can be made. Knowing its true category, I have used rhubarb in a number of savory dishes, including a Rhubarb Chutney.

When I spotted rhubarb recently, I bought a bunch and figured I would create a plan after that. What to do with these pink stalks? Rhubarb can be tricky to cook. With just a little too much heat it changes from a crisp piece of produce to mush. Absolute mush. However, served raw, it’s very tart and has a bit too much crunch. My solution- a quick saute, remove from heat immediately, and let the recipe continue.

This rhubarb salsa was quite interesting. It’s not nearly as wet as a tomato salsa, but it has a nice crunch and assortment of flavors. There’s a bit of tartness from the rhubarb, a little heat from the jalapeno, and freshness from the lime juice and cilantro.

When you’re planning your next margarita night, give this salsa recipe a try. It’s a delightful change.

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