Nopales and Cotija Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette Recipe

Nopales and Cotija Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette



2 medium nopales, thorns removed and cut into 1/2-inch squares
2 beets, sliced
3 orange tomatoes, sliced
2 large sweet potatoes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 avocado, cubed
4 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled
Olive oil
Kosher salt

1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 serrano pepper, chopped*
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt

How to make Nopales and Cotija Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

1.    Place beets and sweet potatoes in one bowl and red onion and tomatoes in a separate bowl. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and salt over each bowl of vegetables and toss to coat.

2.    Spread the veggies in a flat layer on two separate parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Slide beets and sweet potatoes in the oven and roast at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Place tomatoes and red onions into the oven on a separate rack and continue roasting for another 20-25 minutes.

3.    Remove veggies from oven and let sit for a few minutes to continue cooling.

4.    Place nopales pieces into a sieve or colander and rinse under warm water for a couple of minutes.  (If your nopales is extra oozy, continue to run water over the pieces until most of the juice stops running).  Set aside.

5.    Prepare dressing by placing cider vinegar, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and zest, agave nectar, serrano pepper and cumin in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Slowly drizzle in grapeseed oil until incorporated.  Salt to taste.

6.    Finish salad by tossing warm roasted veggies with nopales.  Top with avocado and cotija cheese.  Drizzle cilantro dressing over the salad.

*Taste a tiny piece of the serrano pepper before adding it to the dressing.  You can add more or less based on your penchant for heat.

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