Cactus, Zucchini and Red Pepper Salad

Make your next party the talk of the town by serving this colorful salad of cactus, zucchini and red pepper tossed with a cilantro vinaigrette.

  • Prep Time 25 min
  • Total Time 25 min
  • Servings 6

1/2
cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4
cup white wine vinegar
1
tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2
teaspoon salt
1
clove garlic, finely chopped
1/8
teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8
cups water
1
tablespoon salt
1/2
lb fresh prickly pear cactus pad, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2
small zucchini, thinly sliced
1
medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips

  • 1 To make vinaigrette, in small bowl, mix oil, vinegar, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic and pepper with wire whisk until well blended.
  • 2 In 3-quart saucepan, heat water and salt to boiling. Add cactus. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Boil uncovered 5 minutes; drain. Immediately rinse with cold water, or plunge into large bowl of ice and water; drain. Repeat rinsing and draining twice.
  • 3 In large bowl, mix cactus, zucchini and bell pepper. Add vinaigrette; toss to mix.

Expert Tips

Prickly pear cactus is the fruit of any of several cactus varieties. Ranging in color from green to purplish red, prickly pear cactus—or cactus pear—has soft, porous flesh dotted with black seeds. Look for it in Mexican markets and some specialty produce markets.

In most cases, it’s possible to replace fresh herbs with one-third the amount of dried. Not so with cilantro. This fragrant herb’s delicate flavor is easily lost with heat, so fresh is best.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
175
(
Calories from Fat
160 ),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
18 g
18 %
(Saturated Fat
2 g,
2 %
),
Cholesterol
0mg
0%;
Sodium
290 mg
290 %;
Total Carbohydrate
4 g
4 %
(Dietary Fiber
2 g
2 %
),
Protein
1 g
1 %
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
32%;
Vitamin C
72%;
Calcium
6%;
Iron
2%;
Exchanges:
1 Vegetable; 3 1/2 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.