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:
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?
This is shared at: Homemaker by Choice, The Becoming Kitchen, Foodie Fridays, Rattlebridge Farm, Friday Food Fight, Loving This Crazy Life, LHITS DIY Fridays, Meatless Mondays, Makin' You Crave Mondays, Monday Mania, Made From Scratch Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, Learning the Frugal Life, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Fat Tuesdays, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tiny Tip Tuesdays, Show Me What You Got, Traditional Tuesdays