Cactus Salad

Total Time:
3 hr 10 min
Prep:
3 hr
Cook:
10 min

Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh or prepared cactus paddles or nopales, needles removed
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 Italian Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 to 2 medium serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 bunches cilantro, leaves only, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Cotija or Anejo cheese
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 6 lettuce leaves
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced for garnish
  • 1/4 cup cracked black pepper garnish, recipe follows
  • CRACKED BLACK PEPPER GARNISH
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Directions

Preheat grill or broiler. Place cactus paddles in a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Grill or broil the paddles until grill marks appear on each side, or they turn dark green with black patches, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Cover and chill 2 to 4 hours or overnight. Cut cactus into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine the cactus, tomatoes, onions, chiles, cilantro and cheese with the remaining 1/2 cup oil, the vinegar, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Toss well. Serve on plates lined with lettuce leaves, and garnish with avocado slices sprinkled with cracked pepper garnish.

CRACKED BLACK PEPPER GARNISH

In a small bowl, stir all the ingredients together. Spoon over vegetables or drizzle lightly over dressed salads as a garnish.


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