Mexican Cactus Salad

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The first ingredient of Mexican cactus salad is, of course, cactus. Learn about Mexican cactus salad with help from a social entrepreneur in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: From Garden to Table
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Holly Hirshberg from, and tonight I'm going to make a traditional Mexican cactus salad. My first ingredient, of course, cactus! You can buy it in the isle with the Mexican food, look next to the salsa and the refried beans, it comes in a can. Alright, I'm going to just add my cactus into my salad bowl. Time to chop the onions. This is a white onion I'm going to use, it needs to be a finer chop, so I'm just going to scour my onion first. This has a stronger onion flavor than maybe your red onions or yellow onions. My onions are chopped, I'm going to add them over here with my cactus. I like these recipes where you don't have to do a lot of cooking, you just get to do a lot of chopping. There we go, easy enough. I'm going to add fresh chopped cilantro. I like it better fresh than from the jar, you can use the stuff from the jar. The stuff that's fresh has a much brighter, much stronger flavor. Mexican oregano comes next, you're probably going to find this in your spices isle. It's different from Italian oregano, in that it's not as sweet. Now that was about a half of teaspoon of the Mexican oregano. And my next ingredient, canned jalapenos, I'm just going to put those right in. My all time favorite, citrus lime is going into the salad next, very common flavor in Mexican cooking. I'm just going to cut it in half because I'm going to use the juice. This recipe only calls for the juice. I'm going to go ahead and just squeeze it into my hand. And I'm doing that so if there's any seeds, I can catch them before they get into my salad. Don't worry about being pretty with this, there's nothing pretty about it, it's just going to be what it is. But you don't need special equipment, you don't need juicers, you don't need any of that stuff, just do it right into your hand with your hand. There we go. Right now it's about to go in the fridge for about 30 minutes to marinate, blend the flavors. I'm going to add a little salt and pepper to taste before it goes in. I'm going to stir it up, and then I'm going to taste it to make sure it has the flavor I want it to have. Now keep in mind, the longer it sits, the stronger the flavor is going to be. A little more pepper. It's delicious already, the cilantro really brings up the flavor, it makes it taste very fresh. Perfect! Got to let it sit for a half hour. My Mexican cactus salad has been marinating about a half an hour in the fridge. Now I'm ready to assemble it. I'm going to go ahead and put it on the plate, it's going to look really pretty, I can't wait to taste it. Now if you don't have cactus, if that's something that's not familiar to you, you can also use string beans instead. Now we're going to dress it up. I have a roma tomato. I'm going to give it a quick chop, put that in my compost later, give it a quick chop and bring some color onto my cactus dish there. I tasted it, it's spicy, it's sweet, it's salty, it's everything you want. This is going to add the color. I'm just going to sprinkle that on top. Already you can tell, it makes a big difference to add a little red. This adds a lot of contrasting colors. Next I'm going to add some onion rings. I'm using red onions, because they're a little bit sweeter, and they lack that spicy onion pungency that makes them real popular for being eaten raw. I'm just going to layer those on here, look how pretty having that purple color. Next we'll add some avocado; I dropped it on the way over here, slice this up. Avocado has a very,very mild and creamy flavor, it's good for you too. But when you're cutting it, it's going to kind of sticks to things, it's really soft, so just be aware of that before you cut it, and then you won't be surprised when it doesn't cut like a cucumber. Sprinkle that on top, it's going to be great, all these good Mexican flavors. Gonna add my queso fresco. This is a type of cheese that's crumbly and salty and it's going to add a really nice flavor. This is your chance to get your hands dirty on this salad. Sprinkle it on top. It looks so good, it's making me hungry. My final ingredient is cilantro. Fresh and green and delicious. It's going to perk up my dish. This is going to be beautiful. That was easy to make, right? It's a lot of ingredients, but it's not a lot of effort. Check it out, we did it. It's going to be wonderful.


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