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Nopales are the pads from prickly pear cactii. I had never had them before, but when we received them in our Local Box this week, eggs felt like the perfect fit. We always source our eggs locally, and pairing them with local veggies is a great karma-enriching way to start out the day.
De-thorned on the left, trimmed and prepped on the right
Nopales have a bit of slime to them, much like okra, and I found that adding a bit of baking soda while boiling the pieces helps cut down on the goo. Be careful, though, because the baking soda will cause the water to boil quite high, and if you aren’t careful you’ll soon be cleaning up a big mess on the stove.
While there is a bit of prep work involved, this breakfast comes together easily and makes for a nice change in morning routine. You want to make sure you trim the nopales all the way around, and then carefully cut out the thorn nodes without losing too much of the meat. And of course, make sure you wash them well before slicing.
- 2 cactus pads, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch chunks
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Olive oil
- 1 Hatch or poblano pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 palm-sized tomato, diced
- 4 eggs
- Salt and pepper
- Hot sauce
- Heat a deep saucepan of water to boiling. Add the cactus and baking soda, and boil gently for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure pot doesn’t boil over. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a saute pan, heat a swirl of olive oil over medium. Add the pepper and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, then add tomatoes and cactus and cook for 2 minutes.
- Beat eggs with a fork and add to the vegetables. Cook until eggs are desired consistency, stirring every so often.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with hot sauce.