Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nopales (Cactus) Tacos

Nopales and sweet potato tacos with avocado and salsa.

When I head to my local farmer's market, I often try and find one item that I have never tried before. A couple of weeks ago I spotted nopales, aka prickly pear cactus. A common staple in Mexican cuisine, I had always wanted to try it. Our farmer told us that these cactus had already been removed of their spines, and were ready to eat. Apparently raw nopales are an excellent addition to salads.

I wasn't sure how I was going to use my cactus, until I saw Kim O'Donnel's recipe for sweet potato tacos. Surely cactus would be a great addition to any taco. Alright, I know what you're thinking - sweet potatos and cactus? How could those exotic flavors pair well together. Truth be told, I wasn't sure either, but I am all about trying new things.

These tacos are great topped with some fresh salsa.

I tweaked the recipe slightly, mashing up my sweet potatoes with some salt and a little garlic. I spread the sweet potato mash on corn tortillas, topped them with sauteed nopales, avocado, and fresh salsa. These tacos were packed with flavor. The nopales were amazingly tangy, almost like eating a fleshy lime. The smooth, almost creamy texture of the nopales worked well with the sweet potatoes. I made my own salsa with tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic. The freshness and brightness of these tacos is just wonderful.

AJ loves nopales tacos!

Going in for the kill!

Fresh Salsa
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients in a bowl. For a more pureed version, blend in food processor.

1 comment:

Raisin Canes said...

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