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Nopalitos and Bratwurst with Rice Pilaf

If nopales put you off because of their slight sliminess, mixing them with cooked rice will resolve the problem. This is a nice one-pot dish that can be eaten hot or at room temperature.  Instead of bratwurst, you can use Italian sausage, or if you prefer the dish to be vegetarian, you can use 2-3 cups cooked beans. It’s also a good way to use leftover rice – use 4 cups of cooked rice.


1 lb bratwursts (about 4 sausages), or 2-3 cups of cooked beans

2 nopales

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup uncooked rice

2 cups stock or water

1/2 tablespoon herbs (use herb mix of your choice, e.g. herbes de Provence, oregano and thyme, Italian herbs)

Salt and pepper

Olive oil


Heat some oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add rice, herbs and’ salt and pepper to taste. Stir until rice is well coated and hot, about 3 minutes (the rice should start smelling a little nutty but should not burn). Add garlic and stir for another couple minutes. Add stock, cover, and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for another 10 minutes.

Coat both sides of the de-spined nopales with olive oil. On a high heat grill (about 400), grill bratwurst and nopales for about 5 minutes on each side. Nopales should be slightly charred. Slice the nopales in nail-sized cubes or diamonds. Slice the bratwurst in thin slices. Mix rice, nopales and bratwurst.

Submitted by Philippe Waterinckx, Tucson CSA N