Nopalito Salsa – Prickly Pear Cactus Salsa: Healthy, Tangy and Delicious

Did you say nopalito salsa? Cactus salsa?  Yes, amiga, that’s what I said!  Okay, first let’s dispel the stereotype that all Latinos eat cactus.  They don’t.  (You saw it here first!) Nopalitos are of the prickly pear variety, and they are healthy and delicious, and many Mexicans and Mexican Americans, but not all, eat them.  Case in point: I once brought a platter of nopalitos con chile to a picnic pot luck in Northern New Mexico and not one person ate them.  The hostess was kind enough to dip her spoon and take a bite and say something, like, “Tangy,”  but that was about it.  And nopalitos are tangy, and are made tangier with a squeeze of lemon or lime, but they are an acquired taste and not universally eaten by all Latinos.

But if you’ve had them and like them, try this simple and delicious salsa.  And if you haven’t had them, try them! Start with this simple, tangy and delicious salsa. Serve it with corn chips! YUM! Or make yourself a  little soft shell taco with a nice warm corn tortilla. DOUBLE YUM! It is also wonderful as a side dish!

This recipe is “seria.”  I say that because it was developed by Lori, La Madrina en la Cocina and she prepared the nopalitos from scratch.  You can find fresh-cut nopalitos already prepared and free of thorns at Mexican grocery stores.  So you could just buy them all ready to go.   But if you’re little lazy, or busy, or both, buy them in a  jar.  It’s okay not to be so Betty Crocker.  Just rinse them before you chop them up for the salsa.  Malena, our mera mera nutritionist would tell you, rinsing gets rid of some of the sodium, and that’s a good thing.

We made this nopalito salsa for our end-of-study party in Albuquerque and it was a big hit!  Try them today and feed them to your kids.  They can go to school and brag about eating cactus!