Prickly pear tacos

April 22, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Of the many adjustments I've had to make after my move from temperate Brooklyn to the deserts of Tucson, one of the more interesting hase been the sudden appearance of nopales (prickly pear cactus pads) in my farm share. After some trial and error, I've found that my favorite way to cook them is on the grill and they're just delicious chopped up in tacos, like these, and served with a salad. If you have prickly pear in your yard, you can harvest the new growths (wear gloves) and despine them- although I haven't tried it myself. Enjoy! —enbe

What You'll Need
  • 2-3 good sized prickly pear pads
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup cotija
  • 2 cups cabbage, sliced finely
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 large handful cilantro
  • 12 small corn tortillas (or flour if you prefer)
  • kosher salt and pepper
  1. Make the slaw by mixing the olive oil, lime juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the cabbage and cilantro and mix to coat. Let sit while preparing the rest of the meal.
  2. Drain the black beans, add the cumin and a pinch of salt and warm on the stove.
  3. Rinse and pat dry prickly pear pads. Brush on a light coat of oil. Cut onions into thick slices, brush with olive oil and give a good sprinkling of kosher salt. Put both on the grill and let cook. The cactus will be ready to flip when you start to see charred spots. Just as you're ready to take everything off, grill the tortillas for a few seconds on each side to warm. Finally, chop the cactus into strips similar in width to the onions and cut the onions in half to form strips.
  4. Assemble the tacos by adding a spoonful of black beans, topping them with onions and cactus and then a good sprinkling of cotija. Top it all off with a spoonful of cabbage slaw. Enjoy!

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