Those bristly cactus spines are guarding something really good to eat. Like chocolate, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and chile, prickly pear cacti are one of the true treasures of the Americas. As a food, prickly pear is delicious, nutritious, and increasingly believed to be medicinal. Native Americans have enjoyed it for thousands of years, but transplants now flourish worldwide, particularly around the Mediterranean.
But how do you transform a live pincushion into a delicious smoothie, cool salad, or a pie as pink and airy as the desert dawn?
In her unique, beautiful cookbook Carolyn Niethammer has collected 56 enticing international recipes for the succulent fruit and tender green pads (or "nopalitos") of the prickly pear. A wild-food expert and master cook, she guides readers all the way from cactus patch to casserole, from easy spine removal techniques to Prickly Pear Barbecue Shrimp with Roasted Corn and Black Bean Relish. Other highlights of this marvelous collection are such simple yet sensational delights as Easy Nopalito Salsa, Sabra Souffl?, Chicken Yucat?n, Prickly Pear Gelato, Prickly Pear Kuchen, and Prickly Pear Wine. 24 color photographs.
Rio Nuevo Publishers, 120 pages
Available in softcover