Toni Turner, executive director of The University of Texas Law School Foundation in Austin, is a cooking historian who specializes in the foods of the Anglo pioneers and Native Americans of the 1850s. Note: The following recipe was designed for fresh cactus. Most canned or other commercially prepared cactus is pickled in brine or vinegar, so adjust your recipe accordingly.

  • 1 pound nopalitos, blanched 
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped 
  • 1/2 head of lettuce, chopped 
  • 1 c. sweet yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1/2 c. cilantro (fresh cilantro) chopped 
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped 
  • Italian or vinaigrette dressing 
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional) 
  • 3 T. feta cheese (optional) 

This is a traditional salad throughout Mexico. Toss the first six ingredients and serve chilled, topped with an Italian or vinaigrette dressing. Add some crumbled feta cheese and avocado slices for a more elegant salad. Makes 6 servings.

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