Wild Things Round Up - Prickly Pear

Welcome to the Wild Things Round Up for the month of September, where we are highlighting the delights of prickly pears, also known as nopales. Did you make it through the month without getting any glochids stuck in your fingers?  I know I didn't. But I certainly had fun creating new dishes with this plant, especially since it grows within a block of my house.
Whether prickly pear cacti are a new food to you, or an old favorite, I encourage you to try some of these recipes.

Holly didn't have a recipe to share this month, but she sent along a picture of prickly pear cacti growing on the beach in Delaware to demonstrate that cacti do indeed grow far and wide.  She also shared the USDA map, which shows the range of Opuntia spp. in the US and Canada.

 Penny at Penniless Parenting has written a really comprehensive post all about how to harvest and prepare prickly pear cacti, including a nifty video!


Leave it to Rebecca to make a sweet treat with prickly pear tunas. Look at how beautiful her Prickly Pear Jelly is!  I bet you'll want to have some of this jewel-like jelly for your pantry, too.

Also on Cauldrons and Crockpots, Rebecca's guest poster Katelyn Bradwell has shared her recipe for Prickly Pear Margaritas.  You know how much I wanted this recipe!

Over at the Dyhanaverse, you can find a colorful Nopales Salad with beans, cilantro, and chiles.

Hank Shaw of Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook has shared his recipe for Roasted Pheasant Glazed with Prickly Pear Syrup.


OK, I'll admit it, I made this dish just for the sake of the play on words.  But I've gotta say that my Prickly Pear Spicy "Tuna" Rolls are actually really tasty.


I've made a lot of fruit leather this year, and one of my favorite fruit combinations was Apple/Prickly Pear/Green Chile.


In the last year, I've become quite fond of making quick salt and sugar pickles with a variety of vegetables.  So it seemed natural that I should try it with nopales.  The resulting pickle is very enjoyable, with all of the fresh clean flavor of raw prickly pear pads.  In addition to the recipe for Prickly Pear Quick Pickles, this post has an idea for Air-Dried Nopales with Salt and Chile.


One of the things that keeps people from eating nopales is the slime that they exude. For my Prickly Pear Gumbo, I decided to use that mucilage to my advantage to thicken the stew, much in the same way that okra is traditionally used.


Well, my wild friends, it has been an exciting month.  I'd like to extend a big thank you to everyone who participated in the Wild Things Round Up this month.  You are always an inspiration.  See you next month for more wild delights.

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