In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring: Nopales

Huevos con Nopales
~ Eggs with Cactus ~

This classic Mexican dish happens to be one of Robbie Sigona’s favorite ways to eat nopales. It’s a simple, protein-packed way to enjoy this veggie, which touts numerous nutritious vitamins, including iron, calcium and potassium. To make this dish dairy-free, use only olive oil and leave out the milk and the cheese. Serves 2 to 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh nopal (cactus paddle/leaf), thorns and edges removed (nopales are available cleaned at Sigona’s)
  • 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • A pinch or two red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp butter or preferred cooking fat
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp milk, if desired
  • A couple Tbsp crumbled queso fresco, if desired
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish and serving

Directions: Slice and dice the nopales into 1/2-inch cubes.

Add olive oil to a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the diced nopales and a pinch of red pepper flakes; season with salt. Pan roast/sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until crisp-tender, stirring frequently. The nopales will release their juices, which will cook off, as the pieces turn an olive color. Remove nopales to a plate and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, if using.

Melt butter (or more oil) in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add beaten eggs and allow to sit for a minute or two before stirring. Season with salt and pepper, and continue stirring and cooking until the eggs are set. Fold in the cheese, if using, and then add the nopales. Fold the mixture together for about 1 minute.

Transfer eggs to a serving dish. Sprinkle with a little more cheese, if desired, and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

 

Ensalada de Nopales con Frijoles
~ Mexican-Style Cactus Salad with Beans ~

Cooked nopales — cactus paddles or leaves — have a citrusy note, making them a delicious addition to diced salads packed with vegetables. You can add other veggies to this dish, such as some cucumber or radish, to give it some extra crunch. Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh nopales (cactus paddles/leaves), thorns and edges removed (nopales are available cleaned at Sigona’s)
  • 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups (or one can) drained black beans
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (stems are ok, but leaves are best)
  • Fresh lime juice, a couple teaspoons, to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, peeled, halved and sliced lengthwise
  • Optional additions: diced cucumber, sliced radish, roasted corn
  • Optional: crumbled queso fresco

Directions: Slice and dice the nopales into 1/2-inch cubes.

Add olive oil to a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the diced nopales and season with salt. Pan roast/sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender. The nopales will release their juices, which will cook off, as the pieces turn an olive color. Remove nopales to a plate and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, beans, red onion and cilantro. Add any other veggies you’re adding at this time, such as radish or roasted corn. Fold in the nopales and lime juice. Taste, season with salt, pepper and more lime juice, if necessary.

Top salad with avocado just before serving. Sprinkle salad with queso fresco, if desired.

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