Prickly pears, a.k.a. cactus pears. Photo
|Now that it’s May 1, we’ve got four days to focus on Cinco de Mayo culinary tributes. For sure, we’ll bring on the salsa and the cocktails.
But first, here’s a fresh idea that may take some hunting: prickly pear salad dressing. Check Latino and International markets for the fruit (or you can purchase them online at Melissas.com).
A popular food in Mexico, prickly pears, also known as cactus pears, are the fruit of several species of cactus (most particularly, Opuntia ficus-indica and Opuntia tuna). The fruits have been used in Mexico both for food and medicinal cures since prehistoric times.
Prickly pears have a purple-red or green exterior with soft, ruby-red or golden colored flesh and tiny, edible seeds. They are low in calories—just 40 calories each—very high in dietary fiber, magnesium and vitamin C and high in calcium, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin B6.
Whatever you make, be sure to peel the “pears” carefully to remove any small needles.
PRICKLY PEAR SALAD DRESSING
This vinaigrette becomes pink with the addition of prickly pear puree. Use it on green salads and fruit salads. Makes 1 cup. Recipe courtesy Ida Rodriguez | Melissas.com.
Shake all ingredients in a covered jar.
While you’re at it, make this refreshing prickly pear sorbet.
Find more of our favorite fruits and fruit recipes.
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