Toronto Has Spines
In Toronto they think if you eat nopales you’ll get spines in your mouth.
ANDREW SCRIVANI/THE NEW YORK TIMES
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.