Cactus Paddle Salad
Nopalitos are the paddles of the prickly pear cactus, cut into strips. They taste like green beans or asparagus, but when first cut, they secrete a sticky juice and must be blanched and rinsed before cooking (see Preparing Fresh Nopalitos); it may be easier to use canned nopalitos, as in this recipe from Mexican Family Cooking (Fawcett, 1986) by Aída Gabilondo.
1 32-oz. can nopalitos
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions, chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Drain nopalitos in a colander. Pick out any onion or pepper pieces.
2. Whisk lime juice, garlic, and oil together in a large mixing bowl. Add nopalitos, scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeño. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss well. Chill for at least 1 hour and serve wrapped in tortillas.