Thursday, June 14, 2012

Roasted Nopales

Have I mentioned that I love my CSA?  I find it to be more necessary in the summer months where most farmer's markets are closed for the season because of the intense desert heat.  Things still grow out here in the summer, it's just not reasonable to hold an outdoor market when temperatures at 5am are in the 90's and get over 110 after 12pm.  Anyhow, I would like to highlight one of the new ingredients our farmers included this week in my CSA basket.  Nopales. 

Nopales thrive here in the Sonoran Desert.  They are flat pads of the prickly pear cactus.  In order to prepare them, they must be properly peeled to remove the spines (thank goodness the farmer already removed the spines for me).  The flavor is like that of a tangy green bean and there are countless Mexican recipes that use them.  Since I wasn't in the mood for Mexican cuisine on this particular day, I decided to try to prepare them using my stand-by method for vegetables: roasting.  For me, when I'm in doubt of how to prepare a vegetable, I roast it and have almost always been pleased with the results. 

When you cut into nopales, they are pretty slimy, like okra.  This also was an incentive to roast them since roasted okra is the only way I like to eat okra because it takes the slime away.  So, I sliced the nopales and tossed them in some olive oil, salt and pepper.

I put them on a cookie sheet and baked them at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes and voila, tangy roasted nopales.  We ended up eating them straight from the cookie sheet, so I didn't have the opportunity (or desire) to make a sauce for them.  They were delicious on their own even if they were kinda ugly... 

If you'd like to try them yourself, here's the recipe:

Roasted Nopales
by Athena
Serves 2-4

3-4 Nopales
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper

Preheat oven to 375.  Slice Nopales into just under 1/2 inch slices and place in a large bowl.  Add Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper and toss.  Pour onto a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan and roast for about 15 minutes or until done.  Enjoy!

Do you have any stand-by cooking methods for things you aren't sure how to cook? 


  1. Roasting, always roasting. It's my go-to method for cooking most vegetables as well. I have never tried napoles. I am going to keep my eyes open for them now. You know I won't be able to resist them if I can find them!

  2. Wow! Who would have ever thought to eat 'cactus', although I have seen recipes including that ingredient. But, being from TN, I don't get the chance to see much cacti. I'm wondering where I would be able to find these around here...a health food store maybe? I'll have to do some research. Thanks for joining in this week at our recipe hop ☺

    1. Gosh, I wouldn't know where to find them outside the desert :) I never saw them before I moved here! lol If you have a local hispanic market you can probably find the canned variety and if you're really lucky, the fresh kind. Good Luck! :)

  3. This is a very interesting vegetable- I don't think I've ever heard of them. I may have to try and find one! Here in Kansas things get pretty hot, but definitely not desert heat! Have a blessed day.


  4. What a unique recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at The Becoming Kitchen Link-up!

    1. It was what came to mind with such an unknown and unique ingredient. :) Thanks for hosting!

  5. Roasting is our go-to method as well! Everything just tastes better roasted, doesn't it? I think if parents served their kids only roasted veggies, kids would be more apt to trying new veggies without the typical aversion they have to them. Crispy, roasted veggies are waaay better than limp, soggy veggies :) Thanks for linking up at Tiny Tip Tuesday! I've never even heard of nopales before, so thanks for the insight!

  6. Howdy! This blog post couldn't be written much better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I'll forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!
    Also visit my webpage - Work from home


Thank you for your comment!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...