Cactus Paddle Salad

  • Serves

    serves 8


(Ensalada de Nopalitos)
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 Aida 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
  • 14 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • <a href="">Flour/ tortillas</a>


Step 1

Drain nopalitos in a colander. Pick out any onion or pepper pieces.

Step 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.

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