Thursday, October 18, 2007

Prickly pears!

With a name like that, don't you have to try some?! When I moved here (one year ago already and I've never blogged about them) I was fascinated with these prickly pink, yellow and/or green beauties. I suspected they were cactus fruits and after a bit of browsing on the web I discovered I was right but that their alternative name is prickly pear or opuntia, which is so much more fun. So I bought some, tried some different recipes and was hooked. I love the light fruity taste of them that you can use both in savory or sweet dishes. Last night, we ate some with grilled tofu and a variety of grains (wheat, buckwheat and quinoa, emptying all the left over packages!). To make the sauce simply fry a chopped onion in some olive oil until soft, then add 4 chopped tomatoes and 3 peeled and chopped prickly pears (I'd recommend wearing washing up gloves as I was picking needles out of my finger for the rest of the night - sometimes this doesn't happen but some pears are more prickly than others). Fry for another 5 min till you have a nice sauce, add chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper and enjoy. The pears do contain a lot of seeds but I think you can easily eat around them (think pomegranate or passion fruit). I think it would also be really nice to use in a cold tomato soup, as a sweet jelly or in baking.

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