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Savor the Southwest
 I produce a blog with two other remarkable women involved in the food of the Southwest. We discuss edible wild plants, foods that grow well here like citrus and olives, and flavors typical to the Southwest. Sometimes we'll highlight a new book by one of our colleagues. We take turns so there are three posts every month. The links will take you to the full blog.

Call it Prickly Pear, Call it Nopal, It's time.

Fresh prickly pear pads are found in gardens in April and May. They are available year 'round in Mexican grocery stores. 

 

 

Prickly pear pads or nopales are a common vegetable in Mexico, as common as green beans in the U.S. They are a traditional food in Southern Arizona, brought by people who migrated from Mexio and eaten long before that for millenia by people who lived on the wild foods of the desert. Here are instructions for how to prepare the pads and several recipes to make nopales your new favorite vegetable.

 You can find many recipes for prickly pear pads and fruit in my Cooking the Wild Southwest, Delicious Recipes for Desert Plants and The The Prickly Pear Cookbook.

New Southwest Cookbook: Recipe Inspiration

My kitchen is torn apart as a new floor is being intalled, so without a stove to cook and photograph something for my blog,  I wrote about the chef-invented recipes in The New Southwest Cookbook which was recently re-released. These chefs looked at the rich flavors and pungent spices traditionally used in Southwestern food and combined them in new and surprising ways. They used a generous hand and knew how to layer flavors so their dishes sizzled in the mouth. Inventive cooks can use some of their ideas to invent their own dishes.

You can find the full blog here.

 

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