If you like okra, then nopales are for you. They’re simply the roundish and lumpy paddles of the prickly pear cactus. If you live in an area where these are growing wild, foraging is a great way to acquire them. Remember to use gloves when harvesting, as those spines hurt and they will get everywhere fast. If you can’t harvest them yourself, check your local Hispanic market. In a pinch, you could substitute Persian cucumbers, green beans, or even green bell peppers for the nopales.
- Take a large knife and slice off the spines of the nopal under cool running water. Slice the nopal into French fry–size pieces. In a large bowl, toss together the nopal, radish, cilantro, and jalapeño. Add the lime juice and season with the salt. Serve the salad as an appetizer, or as an accompaniment for tacos.
Reprinted with permission from The Tiny Mess by Maddie Gordon, Mary Gonzalez and Trevor Gordon, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.