When you look at this cactus, your first thought is probably not “dinner!”. Perhaps we’ve been watching too much Rick Bayless, but yesterday, while trimming our prickly pears (which have been growing like they’re on speed), that’s exactly what crossed my mind! I’ve been meaning to try to cook prickly pear pads (or “Nopales“) for a while now and yesterday I decided to give it a go.
Nick was a tad suspicious of my new “vegetable” of choice, and opted for a dinner based on leftovers from the previous night: Chicken sausages, fried eggs and bubble and squeak, using what remained of our massive Chinese Cabbage (Nick tells me it really should be savoy, but oh well to that).
But back to the cactus. I found a lot of information about cleaning and then cooking the prickly pads but after much debate, decided to keep it simple. I cubed the cleaned pads and boiled the heck out of them (to get rid of the slime–think okra). Then, I sauteed them in olive oil with garlic, fresh oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes as well as a hot red pepper.
Finally, I tossed in two eggs and some grated Puerto Rican cheese (Queso del Pais) and scrambled it all up and served in corn tortillas with lime, sour cream and a good amount of Cholula.
We both were very happy with our dinners. Nick did taste my burritos and was pleasantly surprised by how tasty they were! I think our Prickly Pears will be getting quite regular trimmings from now on!
So which dinner would you choose? His: