Toronto Has Spines

In Toronto they think if you eat nopales you’ll get spines in your mouth.

Tacos with cactus leaves has a catch – you have to pull the spines from the cactus before digging in.

Well, anyway, in the Toronto Star is an article that apparently was written by the NYTimes who sent a reporter to the Yucatan and came back with a recipe.

Taco Filling With Cactus Leaves

Adapted from Ana Sabrina Rivera del Río; in Spanish, these are Nopales en Ensalada

Time: 30 minutes, plus 30 minutes’ resting

2 pounds cactus leaves (nopales), spines removed, coarsely diced (see note)
3 tomatoes, peeled, coarsely diced and tossed with a pinch of salt
1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano (preferably whole, not ground)
Panela or cotija cheese, for serving

In a saucepan, simmer cactus with 1/2 cup water and a large pinch of salt, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cool.

In a bowl, combine cactus with remaining ingredients except cheese. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving on tortillas; garnish with cheese.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Note: Wear gloves and use a paring knife to remove spines. Mexican and other Latino markets often sell prepared cactus leaves; use 1-1/2 pounds.

How do I know it’s delicious? I don’t. So there. Try it at your own risk, because I make no guarantees.

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