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RITZ Ensalada de Nopales

RITZ Ensalada de Nopales

Prep time30 min
Total time1hr 30min
ServingsMakes 4 servings, 5 topped crackers each.
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, divided
  • 2 qt. (8 cups) water
  • 2 cactus paddles (nopales), spines and thorns removed
  • ½ white onion, divided
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped 
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. EACH salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 RITZ Crackers
  • ½ small avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. crumbled Cotija cheese
  • Reserve 20 cilantro leaves for garnish.  Tear or chop enough of the remaining cilantro leaves to measure 1/2 cup of loosely packed cilantro; reserve this and all remaining cilantro leaves and stems for later use.  
  • Bring water to boil in large saucepan on medium heat.  Meanwhile, cut cactus paddles into 4x1-inch strips.  Chop enough of the onion to measure 1/4 cup; reserve for later use.
  • Add remaining (unchopped) onion to boiling water along with the garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt and reserved remaining cilantro leaves with stems; stir.  Cook 8 to 10 min. or until cactus is tender, skimming foam from water as needed. (Watch carefully as the cactus juices can produce a lot of foam, causing water to spill over.) 
  • Pour ingredients from saucepan through strainer.  Discard strained liquid along with the onion, garlic and cilantro. 
  • Rinse cactus, then pat dry; place in large bowl.  Add tomatoes along with the reserved chopped onions and torn cilantro leaves; mix lightly.   Mix lime juice and oil until blended.  Add to cactus mixture; mix lightly. Season with remaining salt and pepper.  Refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Slice avocado thinly lengthwise, then cut each slice crosswise into thirds. Top each cracker with 1 tsp. cactus salad and a few avocado pieces.  Sprinkle with cheese; top with reserved cilantro leaves. Refrigerate remaining cactus salad up to 3 days before using as desired.
Recipe Tips
  • How to Use the Remaining Cactus Salad
    Serve the remaining cactus salad as a tasty side dish for your favorite grilled meat.  Or, use it to add flavor to your favorite tacos or burritos.  Or, for a change of pace, spoon it over hot scrambled eggs topped with Cotija cheese.
  • Make it Easy
    Want to enjoy this delicious topping on your RITZ Crackers without all the work? Substitute 1 cup rinsed and drained jarred cactus for the freshly cooked cactus.  Toss with the remaining salad ingredients before refrigerating as directed.  Taste the salad before seasoning with the pepper and remaining salt since the salt in the jarred cactus might already be providing enough seasoning to the salad. 
  • Variations
    For a change of pace, substitute fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar for the lime juice. For added flavor, season the salad with dried oregano leaves to taste. Or, stir finely chopped fresh or pickled jalapeño peppers into the salad before refrigerating.  Also, queso blanco or feta cheese can be used instead of the Cotija cheese.


Nutrition Information

Nutrition Per Serving

 % Daily Value*
Total fat 9g 
   Saturated fat 2g 
   Trans fat 0g 
Cholesterol <5mg 
Sodium 230mg 
Carbohydrate 12g 
   Dietary fiber 1g 
   Total sugars 2g 
   Added sugars 1g 
Protein 2g 
Vitamin A2 %DV
Vitamin C4 %DV
Vitamin D0 %DV
Calcium4 %DV
Iron4 %DV
Potassium2 %DV

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