This post is a little bit different than the usual.
is more of a chronicle of an experiment than an actual recipe. Forgive
my ignorance on the subject of Nopales, while I'm sure there are lots of
great recipes out there for them, I have somehow avoided ever having
cooked prickly pear cactus ever before. Yes for those of you in the
dark, Nopales are
indeed the cooked pads of the Prickly Pear cactus. It's something of
standard fare in Mexican dining, and apparently makes for a great
addition to salads, or as a part of fresh salsa. For me though this was a
novelty, and definitely an exciting one.
son has a fascination with cacti, he's 3 now, so its really the simple
things that intrigue him. And I'd agree with him that by all rights
cacti are pretty awesome. So I really bought this Nopal for my son, but
preparing it can be a pain. I'd recommend you try it though, even if
like me, it's mostly for the novelty.
Once you've cut
off the thorns you'll want to rinse off the cactus and start cutting it
up into small pieces. Small is essential because you're going to need to
cook this for quite a while before its ready to be eaten. Why you may
ask... because of the CACTUS SLIME.
slime is gross. Seriously gross, and Nopals are full of it. So boiling
or frying out all of the sap is essential before eating. As you can see I
cut up the Nopal and put it in the pot with a third of a yellow onion,
as well as 3 cloves of garlic and a teaspoon of salt. then I just
covered it all with water and boiled it on low for 40 minutes. When it
was finished I double rinsed the veggies to make sure they weren't at
is the jumping off point for Nopales, here's where you might want to
put it into a tomato sauce for pasta, or add it to your Never the Same Chili
along with some jalapenos, red pepper, and sweet corn for a Mexican
style meal. In our case we already had a main course ready to go in some
yummy Curry Carrot Soup (recipe for that to come to TFL sometime down
the road), so all we needed the Nopales for was a side. I added some
more salt for seasoning and served as it.
being 3, was not interested in actually easting it. Erica and I however thought
it tasted pretty good. Kind of like diced green beans. I have a feeling
it would be even better as a part of a larger meal though instead of a
side. Maybe we'll try it again one of these days, and I'll of course let
you know how it turns out.