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Grilled Nopales Salad: Ensalada de Nopales Asados by Karen Hursh Graber © 2006

In a previous column, I gave a recipe for the standard nopales salad that the market ladies all over the country seem to sell, but when my husband overdid it on the grilled nopales (his favorite grilled vegetable) at one of our parilladas (Mexican version of an outdoor barbeque) I made a salad with the leftovers. In my opinion, the grilled nopales, with their smoky depth of flavor, made a far tastier salad than the boiled version.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups diced, grilled nopales
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • ½ cup sliced baby radishes
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 fresh lime
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed dried oregano leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

To grill the nopales, first cut them into strips from the bottom (wide part) of the paddle, but do not cut through all the way to the top. The nopal paddle should remain in one piece. You will have something resembling a fan.

Brush both sides of each paddle with just enough oil to lightly coat them and prevent sticking. Grill 5 minutes on each side, turning once, using a spatula to prevent the paddles falling apart and sliding through the grill openings. Set aside to cool before dicing.

Combine nopales with remaining ingredients. Serve the salad as a side dish with grilled meat and tortillas, so that diners can make their own tacos, or serve on tostadas, topped with crumbled white cheese and diced avocado. Serves 4-6.


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Back to the Kitchen!

Published or Updated on: June 1, 2006 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
Contact Karen Hursh Graber

Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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