Ok, we have used our prickly pear fruit many times in fresh fruit cocktail. However, we have never used the lobes or paddles of prickly pear. Fresh, bright green ones are best. Cut off just above the joint on the stem.
This time, I wash the lobes and remove the thorns. You can gouge them out or rub them with a knife. For the finer thorns, use wire wool and rub it over the lobe (nopales). Try to keep the green skin.Cut off the tough, outer edge of the lobe. Wash and chop or thinly slice a lobe.
You can boil it in water with chopped onions and vinegar.Drain then add it to a dish like an omelette. How did it taste? It tastes of green runner beans.Maybe add some prickly pear lobe to a simple salad of onion, tomatoes and cucumber or perhaps a stir fry.
I have various plants that came from humble beginnings. One came from a refuse hopper and the other from a golf course.
I found two prickly pear lobes sticking out of a hopper. Our garden was bare and new so I was finding plants for certain sites. The prickly pear lobes I placed in a hole in our fruit garden. The plant is now a large size, at least a metre and a half. It produces orange prickly fruit. Yearly, we have to hack it back as it grows happily.
Our vigorous prickly pear
As I approached a golf tee I noticed broken pieces of cactus nearby. Obviously, this plant was being hit by enthusiastic golf swings. I placed one piece in my pocket. It felt scratchy as I played but once at home, I planted it in a pot. Soon I had to move this cactus to another area. It became massive and a good thorny boundary shrub.
Young cactus plants
A mature cactus towers into the sky above a bramble. C.