Photo: Cactus Paddle Salad (Nopales Salada)
A dish that may seem exotic to Americans, and yet most Mexicans will find it to be very familiar comfort food. Mostly found in the Central area of Mexico, the prickly pear cactus plant is renowned for its paddles and fruit. Its image is even found on the Mexican flag. A version of this preparation is often used as a condiment for other dishes in Mexico, however here it is presented as a self-sufficient salad. Fresh nopales are available in Mexican groceries, but require labor-intensive processing best explained in a future recipe. For now, just buy a jar.
Memorial Day Weekend is here, V&V Supremo; one of the nation’s oldest family-run Hispanic food business, wants to share some authentic recipes to celebrate !a la Mexicana!
Cactus Paddle Salad (Nopales Salada)
1 15 oz. jar of cactus pieces, drained and rinsed in cold water
3 Ripe plum tomatoes seeded and diced
½ Medium onion diced
¼ Bunch cilantro chopped
½ Tsp. dried oregano (Mexican or other)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Pickled jalapeños, diced
Salt to taste
For the garnishes:
4 Large romaine lettuce leaves
4.41 Oz. pkg. V&V SUPREMO® QUESO FRESCO or V&V SUPREMO® QUESO *RANCHERITO® crumbled.
4 Radishes sliced thin
Mix all the salad ingredients together in a bowl.
Place 1 romaine leaf on each of four plates. Top each leaf with ¼ of the salad mixture. Sprinkle on cheese, jalapeños and radishes.
Yields 4 salads