Mario Rodriguez’s Cactus Salad (Nopalitos)
Why haven’t I eaten this all my life? Delicious, abundant cactus is a neutral foil for all of this flavor.
Serves 4 -6
- 1 package (2 cups) cut nopal, diced
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro, including leaves and stems
- 1 small white or red onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Small pinch Mexican oregano, optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, optional
- Queso Fresco, optional
- Boil nopal (cactus) until the slime is gone and texture is al dente. Avoid over cooking.
- Rinse under cold water to remove any residual slime.
- In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, onion, tomato, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt. Add oregano and olive oil, if desired.
- Add the nopal.
- Season with salt.
- Let sit for an hour to absorb the flavors.
- Just before serving, crumble a handful of queso fresco over the salad, if desired.
You can find nopal, packages or “paddles” with spines removed at Super A and Vallarta Markets.