If you haven’t done so already, I’m guessing you’ll be taking the grill out soon to host a barbeque by the pool. You have to enjoy this great weather while it’s around! So what’s your favorite grilling food or recipe? Does it involve hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and macaroni salad?
I hate to sound like your mother, but don’t forget your vegetables! And how about something different this time, like cactus paddles…or as we say in Spanish, noplaes?
When I was much younger, nopales were a staple in my family’s diet. I wasn’t a big fan, but my mom believed it was a cure-all, and it was always on my plate. I usually just pushed it to the side. I couldn’t get passed the “slimy” texture. When I moved away from home I chose to forget all about them. But just last year, I was out having dinner with my mom when she ordered Nopales Asados (grilled cactus paddles). I gave it a try for the first time in many years and realized I’ve been missing out! And if you haven’t had them, I’m going to suggest you have too.
Now don’t go chopping down that prickly pear cactus down the street (I think that’s illegal), but if you can find cactus paddles (without the needles of course) at your local farmers market or in the produce section of the grocery store, pick some up and give them a try.
Be sure to rinse and dry each paddle well before cooking. Brush them with a little olive oil and drop on the grill. Turn over after just a few minutes to get each side slightly charred. And enjoy!
Nopales Asados are a great dish on their own, but can also be enjoyed in salads and salsa.