The local market had cleaned cactus paddles and I thought it would be fun to give it a try. I've had grilled cactus paddles once, but I've never cooked with it before. After a quick internet search, I a few plant based nopales cactus recipes. The best one I found was by La Cocina de Leslie. This is my take on her Ensalada de Nopales recipe.
Nopales Cactus Salad with Tomato, Avocado and Onion
4 nopales cactus paddles, thorns removed, diced
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1 hass avocado, diced
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbps cilantro, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Add all the diced cactus to a pot and cover with filtered water. Bring it to a boil and simmer until the cactus is soft. The color will also change to a darker green. Drain the cactus and set it aside until it reaches room temperature.
While the cactus is cooling, add the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Once the cactus is ready, mix that into the bowl until well incorporated. Divide the salad into two bowls and add salt and freshly ground pepper to individual taste.
Have you tried cactus before? If you get around to trying this recipe, let me know what you think.