Grilled Cactus Leaves and Garlic Shrimp Salad

Contributed by: Chef Marco Zapien

Grilled Cactus Leaves and Garlic Shrimp Salad

Recipe type: Yield: 6 Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

Grilled Cactus Leaves And Garlic Shrimp Salad tastes great. This healthy recipe of shrimp, cactus leaves and cactus pear.s comes alive with blood orange


1 pound shrimp (peeled shelled and deveined)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 each cactus leaves (no pales)
8 leaves butter lettuce (1 to 2 heads – you will need 8 nice leaves)
4 each cactus pears – diced
1/2 cups pine nuts – toasted
1/4 cup organic cilantro – chopped
1/2 cup queso fresco – used in plating
Salt and pepper – to taste

Blood orange vinaigrette
1/2 cup California blood orange juice
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 cups salad oil
Salt and pepper – to taste


  1. Cactus Leaves and Shrimp Salad
  2. Toss the shrimp with the garlic, half of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
  3. Heat a sauce pan and cook shrimp until just firm. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Trim cactus leaves around the outside edge and scrape the thorns from both sides with a potato peeler. Rinse under cold water to remove any excess "gooey stuff".
  5. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for about 2 minutes on each side, remove from heat and let cool.
  6. Cut into julienne pieces and rinse again to remove the remaining "gooey stuff".
  7. Toss the shrimp, cactus, prickly pears, pine nuts, and cilantro together and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  8. Blood Orange Vinaigrette
  9. In a blender, blend all ingredients except the salad oil. Slowly drizzle in the salad oil to emulsify. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  10. Plating
  11. Arrange the lettuce cups on the salad plate and fill with the cactus and shrimp mixture. Crumble the queso fresco over each salad and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

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