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Friday, August 11, 2017

Prickly Pear Salad

When you purchase your cactus to use make sure that the paddles are bright green and plump. If the paddles have startd to shrivel and have lost their bright green color they are not fresh and should not be used. The smaller thinner paddles are often younger and tender.

Many grocery stores will sell all ready pre pared cactus that has spines removed but still make sure no spines remain.

place cactus in cold water and boil in water then reduce to simmer. Cactus will turn a darker green and release slime slightly. Skim slime off a number of times during cooking. Cook about 10 minutes

Rinse under cold water

Mix cactus with all other ingredients

2 pounds cactus pads
4 Roma tomatoes
1 large white onion
12 sprigs of cilantro
6 ounces ranchero cheese
1/2 tsp. salt + more if needed

Cooking the Cactus
Cut the cactus pads into 1/4" x 1/2" pieces.
Place the cactus in a large pan and cover with 2" of water.
Turn the heat on high and bring the water to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium.
Skim the slime during cooking until the cactus no longer releases any. (about 10 minutes)
Drain the cactus and rinse under cool running water.

Other Ingredients
Dice the tomatoes.
Dice the onion.
Finely chop the cilantro.
Crumble the ranchero cheese.
Assembling the Salad
Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and gently turn until well mixed.

Preparation Notes
The ranchero cheese is salty. You may not need to add additional salt. Only add more after you have tasted it to avoid an overly salty salad.
The salad is best eaten fresh but it will keep in the fridge for 2 days. After that its texture becomes unappealing.
You can make this vegetarian cactus salad recipe vegan by omitting the ranchero cheese.

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