Cactus Veggie Salad

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Recipe by Rebecca Dienner for The FruitGuys

2 cactus paddles (nopales) cleaned and cubed (see Cook’s note)
1/2 red cabbage, sliced thinly
1 red pepper, cut into matchsticks
1/2 jicama, peeled and cubed
1 bunch dino kale, washed well, chopped into 1-inch bites, and massaged (see Cook’s note)
1 avocado, cubed (skin and pit removed)
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
Olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
1/4 cup green onion or chives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


  • Toss together the red cabbage, red pepper, jicama, cactus, kale, avocado, herbs, and onion in a large serving bowl with enough olive oil to lightly coat, and drizzle with vinegar or citrus juice.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper, toss again.
  • In a heavy bottomed skillet, sauté garlic in a tablespoon or so of olive oil over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add cactus, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender (about 5 minutes or so). Nopales releases a sticky substance when cooked, but it will dissipate or burn off the longer it is cooked.
  • Uncover and continue to sauté until the sticky substance has dried up (another 10 minutes or so). Season with sea salt.
  • Serve nopales warm or room temp atop the raw veggie mix or stirred in.

Serves 3–4 as a salad entree. Prep time, 20 minutes; cook time, 15 minutes.

Cook’s note: Clean nopales with a vegetable peeler or a small paring knife removing all nodes (protruding bumps). Place kale in serving bowl and very lightly drizzle with olive oil. Massage it by squeezing the leaves in your hands. Once the leaves turn a dark and glossy green color (about 2 minutes) they are ready.

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The FruitGuys Magazine is your source for workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. Previously known as The FruitGuys Almanac, the Magazine began in 2007. Editors and contributors include nationally known journalists and food writers. Submissions and suggestions can be sent to the editor.