Friday, September 23, 2011

Cactus Salad - Ensalada de Nopales

Hello everyone! I am just done enjoying some grilled chicken that hubby made! It's Friday so it always feels like "grilling" on Friday nights, don't you think? who knows... it might just be the weather!

Anyway... I thought about fixing something quick to go with the grilled chicken and I decided to make "Ensalada de Nopalitos" or Cactus Salad... Nopalitos are very common in Mexico and we eat them either grilled, boiled and in salad like I just did, seasoned with some red chilies and in tacos  or with eggs in the morning (I know it sounds weird but THEY ARE SOOO GOOD LIKE THAT) So I thought I would come here and share the "recipe" with you so you can hopefully try it too!

Remember that we, Mexicans, rarely use EXACT amounts when cooking, it's a lot about your very own taste and how you like/feel things so this is one of those recipes

Note: you can buy "Nopalitos" at any Hispanic Store in the produce area, don't buy the stalks, buy them already cleaned and cut so you don't have to deal with the thorns.. trust me it is not fun!

Cactus Salad: Serves about 4 (or 2 very hungry people like we were today!)
  • 3 cups of fresh Nopalitos (cactus)
  • 1/3 white onion -whole-
  • 1/3 white onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 small red tomatoes (or 1 big) (cut in small cubes)
  • 1 avocado (cut in small cubes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small can of Sliced (and pickled) Jalapeño Peppers - you will use 2 tbsp. of the liquid and some slices of the jalapeño peppers finely chopped - the amount of peppers depends on how much heat you like in your food, you can even use the liquid only if you don't want the peppers -
  • 1/2 tsp. FRESH lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  1. First boil  the nopalitos and 1/3 white onion (whole) in about 6 cups of water until the nopalitos are cooked through (they'll change to a more opaque color) -cook for about 15 mins- Then Rinse and drain about 4 times in cold water (to remove the slimy liquid from them, it won't completely go away but it'll be fine) - Place them on paper towel to remove the excess of liquid. (discard the cooked onion)
  2. In a salad container mix the rest of the ingredients  (chopped onion, tomatoes, jalapeños, lime juice, avocado and cilantro), add the cooked nopalitos to the mix, season with salt and pepper and toss until it's all combined!
Enjoy with grilled meat/chicken and hot corn tortillas!



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