Prep 20 mins
Cook 7 mins
This makes a nice side for traditional Mexican dishes. It is much different than the usual nopales salad because it takes on the flavor of the avocado. I even ate this for breakfast with a tostada shell! You can prepare the nopales ahead but don't make the dressing too far in advanced because it may discolor. I also kept it healthier by leaving out the chicharron. From Fresh Mexico by By Marcella Valladolid.
- 1⁄4 onion
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1 teaspoon crumbled dry oregano
- 1 1⁄2 lbs nopales, cleaned cactus paddles chopped (about 6 cups)
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro leaves plus 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (packed)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 serrano chili, stemmed and seeded
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
- 1⁄2 cup crumbled queso fresco or 1⁄2 cup feta, cheee
- 1⁄3 cup chopped scallion
- 1 cup pork crackling, chicharrones pieces (optional)
- Combine the onion, garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 4 cups water in a large heavy saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the cactus and boil for 7 minutes, or until tender and no longer bright green. Strain the cactus and discard the onion and garlic. Cool completely. (The cactus can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.).
- Put the avocado, cilantro leaves, olive oil, serrano chile, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons water in a blender. Blend until very smooth (the dressing will be thick). Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Transfer the cactus to a large bowl and add the tomatoes, queso fresco, scallions, and chopped cilantro. Toss to combine. Add enough dressing to coat, and toss gently. Divide the salad among 4 plates, and top each serving with chicharones if desired.