Categories: Salads, New Mex, Mexican
 Yield: 4 servings
      24 oz sliced or diced  
            prickly pear cactus 
       2 md tomatoes, coarsely chopped
       1 sm onion, chopped
       2 T  snipped fresh cilantro
       3 T  vegetable oil
       4 ts white wine vinegar
     1/4 ts salt
     1/4 ts dried oregano leaves
            Dash of pepper
 This is from “Betty Crocker’s New International Cookbook”.  According to the
 recipe, “No salad is more characteristic of Mexico than Cactus Salad.  Nopal, or
 prickly pear cactus paddles, are fleshy little wedges that are delicious
 tossed with a vinaigrette.  The dressing above features aromatic cilantro.
         Place cactus, tomatoes, onion and cilantro in glass or plastic bowl.
 Shake remaining ingredients in tightly covered jar.  Pour over vegetables;
 toss.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.  Serve on lettuce leaves if
 desired.  6 servings.
         The recipe states, ”These cacti are not so viciously spined as many
 others.  The paddles (leaves) are the edible portion, a great favorite in
 Mexican cooking.  Called nopalitos, they are boiled and eaten crisp-tender,
 dressed in salads, or served tender and hot, as a cooked vegetable.  Their
 little spines must be removed before cooking.  Look in specialty stores
 featuring Mexican groceries for cans and fresh nopalitos."