Inland Northwest, High Desert
Arizona Cactus and Succulent Research
The Arizona Cactus and Succulent Research site (www.arizonacactus.com/) links to the Arizona Cactus Botanical Garden and boasts stunning photography of cacti in all their splendor. If you've got a cactus at home and would like to identify it, visit this site.
The site also features "Tortilla Press," a newsletter, garden pictures, and plant information.
Nopalitos, also called nopales, are the trimmed paddles of the prickly pear cactus. You can use them fresh, but canned is easier. Here's a tasty salad featuring cactus paddles.
1 15-ounce jar of nopalitos
1 medium tomato, diced and seeded
6 radishes, thinly sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried and crumbled
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
3 ounces queso fresco or mild feta cheese, crumbled
lettuce leaves, if desired
Drain the nopalitos in a large sieve and remove the herbs and onions that are packed with them. Rinse thoroughly and drain well. Coarsely dice the nopalitos and put them in a medium-size bowl. Add the tomato, radishes, green onions, cilantro, oregano, olive oil, and vinegar. Mix gently.
Add the cheese and toss gently until evenly distributed. Serve at once. If you like, spoon onto lettuce leaves.