Did you watch that? What a ripoff – there’s no cactus in that martini. I don’t know what that crap is. Oh well, drink up and Happy Holidays.
Dear Cactus Blog,
I’ve got an Opuntia that is growing too fast, and my husband is worried about our 4 month old baby get stuck with the spines.
I said we should wait until the baby can walk before worrying, but my husband thinks we should get rid of the plant entirely right now. What should we do?
Stuck in the Suburbs
Unless your husband is propping the baby up against the cactus while he’s off fixing his evening cocktail, you shouldn’t have to worry about the baby getting stuck at this young age.
As the baby gets older, I would recommend keeping the prickly pear well trimmed back so that there aren’t any wild spiny pads attracting the attentions of your inevitably wandering toddler. In fact, if you cook the freshly cut pads and feed them to your family, it’s a win-win.
Use this recipe for a healthy and happy family life for years to come:
- 1 or 2 cactus pads
- 8 Eggs
- 1/4 lb. of cheese (your choice)
- salt & pepper to taste
Prepare the cactus pads as described in the preparation section above. Once you have removed the needles, nodules and thoroughly washed the pads, slice into bite-size pieces. Sauté the sliced pads in a small amount of butter for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl; add shredded cheese and the sautéed cactus pieces. Pour the egg mixture into a skillet and scramble. Serve warm with salt and pepper to taste.
I made my prickly pear martini, did you? And if I may say so, its delicious.
My own recipe. This is the first recipe I have ever posted that I came up with myself. Usually, I forget to write these things down, and then forget what I did.
3/4oz. Grey Goose Vanille
1/2oz. Club Soda
1 Med. Puréed/Juiced Fresh Prickly Pear
1 Teaspoon Organic Blue Agave Syrup
2 Dashes Dry Vermouth
As this is a martini, you should probably mix it in a shaker with ice and serve it straight up.
Interesting look at the Pitaya market and new varieties being developed to be tastier and use even less water. These are from the night-blooming Hylocereus from Central America, although the Pitaya name can also be applied to many different cactus fruit. The more common name around here is Dragon Fruit.
The most interesting part is the difficulties with pollinating a night-blooming plant when it’s been taken out of it’s native habitat, away from it’s night-pollinator.
Maybe I should add a margarita recipe to this post. What do you think?
Well, this is what I found:
Red Dragon Cocktail
You should click through for the instructions, but the instructions are really just to pour it all together and stir. Easy enough.
From Alex’s Cocktails in the UK.
Dinner is for cactus. (And duck, too, obviously).
Oh my god this sounds good. If anyone wants to make this for me, I pay in rebutia.
Measure Ingredient 1 Whole duck 2 Yellow onions; thinly sliced 2 Red onions; thinly sliced 1 bunch Leeks; thinly sliced 1 bunch Green onions; thinly sliced 8 Whole eggs Salt and pepper Clarified butter; for frying 3 Strips bacon 3 tablespoons Onion; chopped 2 cups Nopales; cleaned and diced 1 teaspoon Garlic; chopped 3 tablespoons Vinegar; (rice, herb, pepper ; and fruit) 4 tablespoons Sugar 1 teaspoon Chili paste 2 Limes, juice of
Don’t forget to click through for the instructions. No pictures, though. Video would be helpful too, considering what you have to do to the duck.
It’s all agave syrup here at the cactus blog for our breakfast needs.
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1.5 tsp. Agave Nectar
- ½ cup milk
- 1 each egg yolk
- 1.5 tsp. grapseed oil
- 1 cup agave nectar
- 1 cup blueberries
Now that’s just delicious. Click through for the instructions. Enjoy!
A Nipomo (CA) man who grows and markets edible cactus nationwide believes its value soon will be discovered by U.S. consumers as well as those working to help poverty-stricken countries.
“This plant could save the world,” said John Dicus as he gave visitors a tour of his Rivenrock Gardens.
But how should we eat this cactus that you sell?
Dicus offered visitors a taste of his own recipe for cactus salsa.
A mix of beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and cactus chunks that look like chopped broccoli stalks, the salsa has a unique flavor but doesn’t scream “cactus.”
“Cactus should be seen as an herb, where it doesn’t really overwhelm the salsa,” he explained. “It’s been compared to green beans. It should be mixed in as an overall ingredient.
That’s practically a recipe. And what do you know, there’s a whole recipe page too. Now that’s service.
And where is this so-called Nipomo? Southern Cal of course.
L.A. style indeed.
Nopalitos y chapulines, a salad of prickly pear and grasshoppers, as served at La Huasteca in Lynwood. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
La Huasteca in Lynwood. Chef Rocio Camacho, who made her mark at Moles La Tia, is focusing on pre-Columbian cuisine.
Pre-Columbian indeed. Cactus and crickets! Ooh boy. What would my mother say.
I googled for a cactus recipe, and jumped forward to the 100th page, and came up with this.
Queso Fundido de Nopales
2 cups nopales, scraped, washed and cut into strips
1 cup ground chorizo sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups Chihuahua cheese, grated (available in Mexican food stores, or substitute shredded Monterey Jack)
1/2 of an avocado, sliced
That sounds delicious. I may actually have to try one of these recipes someday, and this sounds like a good one to start with.
Click through for the instructions.
Ever have a hankering for caramel cactus? Didn’t even know it was possible?
Create an exotic dessert with grilled cactus chunks over vanilla ice cream. Toss 2 cups cactus chunks with ¼ cup sugar and grill over medium-high heat. Serve over ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired.
I found a pie recipe. I don’t vouch for it, though, since it also has pineapple in it.
Prickly Pear Pineapple Delight
1 graham cracker pie crust, chilled
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
scant 1 cup honey
2 cups prickly pear juice*
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup whipped topping
Seems pretty basic.
I still haven’t found a cactus desert pie, but I did find this tropical medley.
2 cactus pears, peeled
6 cups assorted fresh fruit (sliced kiwi, sliced carambola, whole or sliced strawberries, orange sections, banana chunks, quartered figs, cubed mango, sliced guava, and/or sliced papaya)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
Seems like it could be delicious. As usual, click through for the instructions.
I wonder what I should blog today? Another photo of a cactus in bloom? Another echeveria mixed pot?
Google has been very kind to me this morning, and so I would like to share with you my most recent google find – “cactus pie.” Brownsville Baby has the recipe.
Yield: 6 servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons water
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced
¼ teaspoons salt
1 cup prepared nopales, diced
2 tablespoons queso anejo crumbled
Seems like a savory pie. Later I’ll try to find a sweet cactus pie. Click through for the instructions.
Agave Nectar is the latest hot product in the sweetener world. I like it for making drinks, and I even use it in spaghetti sauce occasionally.
Just as maple syrup is a wholly natural sweetener from Mother Nature’s maple tree, agave (pronounced ah-gah-vay) is a natural nectar from the cactus plant.
But that’s not right – Agaves aren’t a cactus plant. You can get all kinds of fruits and vegetables from cactus plants, but not agave nectar (and not tequila either.) Click through the links for recipes.
Terri passes along her simple margarita recipe in the comments. No pre-mixed sauce for her.
here’s my recipe without all the garbage that margarita mixes have:
4 parts tequila
2 part lime juice
1 part agave nectar
mix it all together in your favorite shaker and pour over ice into your favorite glass.
oh my my!
Thanks for sharing, Terri! I’ll get right on mixing it.
And a recipe too, from the 99 Cent Chef.
Ingredients (1 serving)
1 flour or wheat tortilla.
2 ounces of Queso Fresco – half of the 4oz. package. Okay to substitute with your favorite cheese.
2 tablespoons of cactus – drained and patted dry with paper towel.
Heat pan or grill. Drain and pat dry cactus from jar. Place tortilla on grill or pan and crumble cheese onto half of tortilla. Add drained and dried cactus over cheese. Fold in half and lightly brown tortilla on each side until cheese is melted.
That sounds easy enough.
The Cactus Candy Company sells Pure Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly. Only $1.64!
2 1/2 cups prickly pear juice
3 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 package powdered pectin
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 quart of prickly pear cactus fruit should make about 2 1/2 cups of juice. Pluck the fruit from the cactus with a long-handled fork or tongs. Wash under running water, then use a brush to clean (spines left on the fruit will soften during cooking and should come off after fruit is strained.)…
In a saucepan, measure out 2 1/2 cups of cactus juice; add 1 package of powdered pectin. Bring mixture to a fast boil, stirring constantly…. Makes 6 1/2 pints of jelly.
The rest of the instructions are at the link.
Reader JBOT sent along a link to this photo, proof that deer do eat cactus. And what’s not to like? They’re delicious.
I have no photo credit for this.