The Recipes

Tilapia with Grilled Cactus Leaves Salad

Yes, a cactus leaf is on your shopping list.  They are slightly sweet, and have the texture of the firm part of an artichoke, or well-cooked okra.  If this freaks you out a little bit, by all means, use something different.

Tilapia with Grilled Cactus Leaves Salad


- 1 tilapia fillet
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno, diced
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- two handfuls of cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 of a 14.5-oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cactus leaf
- 1 c. arugula
- 1/2 of a 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 of a red onion, sliced
- 1 lime, juiced
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil

Whisk together the orange juice, the wine, garlic, cilantro, and the jalapeno.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put the tilapia in the marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  While it is preheating, mix together the beans and tomatoes with the majority of the cilantro.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Put the mixture in the bottom of a baking dish.  Place the tilapia on top, pour the extra marinade over the top.  Season again with salt and pepper.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

While the fish cooks, heat a grill pan and drizzle it with olive oil.  Scrape the prickers/needles/whatever you want to call them off with a sharp knife.  Lay the cactus leaf on the hot grill pan and let it cook until you see grill marks, about 4 minutes per side.  Remove the cactus from the pan and set it aside.

Assemble the salad with the arugula and red onion.  Thinly slice the cactus and lay the pieces over the salad.  Dress with the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Remove the fish from the oven and serve it alongside the salad.  Garnish with the remaining cilantro.