With spring upon us, I’ve been looking to expand my grilling options. The idea of cooking and eating a cactus might sound intimidating, but the reality is much simpler than you’d think. All you have to do is scrape off their thorns, and grill them – it’s that easy.
Nopales are the paddles of oputina (prickly pear) cactus, commonly found in Mexico. They are a common vegetable in Mexico, and taste a little like green beans, but slightly more acidic. They are a great addition to grilled meat dishes, or tasty just on their own. They are also often sliced/diced and served with eggs or in salads.
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
Using a sharp knife, hold the nopales by its stem and scrape off its thorns. Then hold it on the other side and scrape down its stem until you get to the soft part. Rinse and pat dry.
Brush the oil onto the nopales, and sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Grill on direct, medium heat, and flip once it is slightly charred, about two minutes. Grill for another two minutes – you’ll know they’re ready when they are soft and dark green. Slice and serve.