|Cactus: part of the Mexican & Central American diet centuries.|
During the intense hot summer months in Texas I strive to make a lunch which will stay cold or lack in texture or flavor ( & not spoil in our current 100* temps ). While my lunch is chilled, I do try to keep out unnecessary ingredients which could easily host food born illness in the heat. It can be a challenge. I have been making many marinated type salads which keep the flavors & hold up to the warm days. (with the help of frozen gel packs)
I recently remembered one of my favorite salads from living in Mexico. The grocers in Mexico sell nopals or cactus slices already cut up & prepared in bags. Nopal or nopalitos can be found in many stores here in Texas & across the U.S. as well. Nopales are sliced & eaten raw or fried, roasted, added to tacos, soups or pickled. Low in calories, nopales provide modest amounts vitamins & minerals. There are people who don't enjoy the texture however & that is okay. (ahh, more for those of us who do enjoy eating nopal.) Enjoy the simple Cactus Salad recipe & stay cool.
|Garden fresh tomato is perfect in or on this salad.|
Ensalada de Nopalitos
3 cups diced Nopales, with green spines removed & sliced into pieces as to resemble green beans.
boiled in salted water until tender and rinsed under cold water. *cooking time about 4 minutes.
1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
2 small tomatoes, sliced or diced.
Tomato Vinaigrette recipe.
Prepare Nopal, rinse under cold water, chill for 1 hr, add onion, vinaigrette & then top with tomato or mix diced tomato into the nopal. Salad serves 4-5
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, black or red
1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped
Toss all ingredients in the blender & pulse 2-3 minutes. Chill or use immediately.Yields 3/4 cup dressing. *1 tbsp Cilantro is also nice with this vinaigrette when serving this salad.
For more information on Nopal check here