Inspired by the fun and creative menu themes that our Clif Family Culinary Team produces during our Street Food Napa Valley Wednesdays, we bring you Ensalada de Nopales – a refreshing and colorful salad that will transport you to the flavors of the Southwest. This recipe originates from Mexico and features a unique ingredient, nopales, a type of cactus that is a staple in Mexican cuisine. Our recipe spotlights the tender and juicy texture of nopales, which is complemented perfectly by the crunch of fresh vegetables and the aroma of Mexican oregano. What sets our recipe apart is Clif Family’s Solar Grown Honey with Desert Hibiscus and Organic Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Our exceptional ingredients add a distinct layer of flavor, boasting notes of tangy hibiscus, the rich and fruity taste of olive oil, and all the natural sweetness of our honey. Gather your ingredients and get ready to indulge in a salad bursting with Mexican-inspired flavors and the quality of Clif Family’s farm-to-table ingredients.
Ensalada de Nopales
Recipe by the Clif Family Culinary Team
2-3 Nopales (purchase them cleaned if you can)
Vegetable oil or grapeseed oil, as needed
1 bunch of scallions, finely sliced
1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped, stems included
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 pinch of Mexican oregano
1 tomato, diced
½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
Preheat grill to high temp.
If using nopales with the spines, use protective gloves and slice around the border of the paddles to remove the outer spines, then carefully remove each node of spines on both faces with the tip of your knife.
Lightly coat the nopales with grapeseed or vegetable oil and season well with salt and cumin. Grill for about 4-5 minutes on each side until tender (undisturbed for grill marks to form). Remove from grill and allow to cool completely.
Slice the nopales into ½” by 2” pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Chop the rest of the vegetables and herbs and transfer to the salad bowl with the grilled nopales.
Whisk together the hibiscus honey, lime juice, olive oil and salt. Drizzle over the chopped nopales and veggies to dress the salad. Top with crumbled cotija cheese and enjoy.
SUGGESTED WINE PAIRINGS: