Thursday, August 8, 2019

This Cactus Isn't Prickly

That's because it's in a salad. Ever try a Mexican Cactus Salad? Jenny Tamayo with La Tortilla Factory of Santa Rosa, California joined Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her recipe for a healthy Ensalada de Nopales. You can buy cacti despined, and Jenny told Tonia you boil them for a few minutes, combine them with a lean meat or chicken and of course, fresh tortillas, and you have a authentic, south-of-the-border salad that's healthy, and high in fiber and nutrients!

Makes 5 to 6 servings

4-5 fresh medium sized nopales paddles or 1 pound pre-trimmed nopales

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

small white onion, diced

bunch of cilantro, chopped

fresh jalapeno, finely chopped (seeded, if desired, optional)

-- Juice of 1-2 fresh limes

-- Salt & pepper to taste

-- Cotija cheese

1 avocado, cut in slices

Using a small paring knife, carefully remove spines and de-nub each nopal (wearing household gloves to protect your hands is a good idea. Pre-trimmed nopales are also available in some Mexican markets.). Cut off the base, trim away any rough edges and cut paddles into ?-inch cubes. Nopales are naturally "gooey" in consistency, though after boiling and rinsing, they no longer should be.

Boil nopales in salted water for 8-10 minutes. Rinse with cold water to cool them. Let water drain completely, pat dry and transfer to a bowl. Add the tomato, onion, cilantro and jalape?; mix gently. Finish with a generous amount of fresh lime juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. When ready to serve, top with crumbled cotija cheese and avocado slices.

Nopales are a light and refreshing complement to any Mexican meal. They can be served as a side salad or used as a salsa, similar to pico de gallo. They are also excellent in scrambled eggs..