I am currently obsessed with nopalitos. What? You don't know what nopales (no PAH les) are? Well let me enlighten you. Nopales are processed prickly pear cactus pads. That is right, cacti, and I eat them. I have yet to try to buy them fresh (they are available at nearly every grocery store and Mexican Mercado around here.) I buy them already processed in jars, Dona Maria is one of the best brands from what I have heard. All I know is that the recipe I am going to share with you, is one of the tastiest salsa/ensaladas I have tried in recent memory. Sure, I love a good salsa verde, and traditional salsa rojo is good, too. But try these out at your next get together, you will not regret it.
- 1 15 or 30 ounce jar of nopalitos (like I said, Dona Maria is a good brand)
- 4 or 5 R0ma tomatoes
- 4 or so stalks of green onion
- nacho slices, these are pickled jalapenos in a jar, they stay good in your refrigerator for a long time. I buy which ever brand is one sale, but be warned that often the jars found in the Hispanic section of the store are spicier, if you want mild go with La Victoria (but not the hot ones shown here) or some other well known brand.
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Mexican cheese this is a personal choice, or maybe just what is available. I used creme fresca this time, and it was nice how it sort of melted into the nopalitos, but panela is more firm and holds its own in the salsa.
- Rinse the nopalitos and make sure there are no spines hiding amongst the pieces. Dice these and put them in a bowl. There may be onion and a chili in with the nopalitos, using these items is at your discretion. I used the onions, but threw out the chili.
- Slice the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds and juice. Then dice and throw into bowl with the nopalitos.
- Slice the green onion thinly, almost all the way down to the root and toss into the bowl.
- Nacho slices also need to be diced, do this carefully because these suckers burn if you get it in your eyes. I used 4 slices, which wasn't spicy enough for me, but you'll have to decide this on your own, also you may use some of the juice from the jar for flavor as well. Toss diced jalapenos in the bowl.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If you are serving this right away (and you can) then place a small amount in a bowl and crumble the cheese into it and stir to combine.
---If you are NOT serving it right then, keep the cheese separate until ready to serve because it dissolves and that is just not pretty. Probably tastes ok, but not as pretty.