Open Faced Grilled Cactus Pepper Jack
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2 cups 1/2-inch strips cleaned raw cactus leaves
1 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
4 slices rustic whole-grain bread, about 3/8 inch thick
1 garlic clove, peeled
8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, thinly sliced
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
- In a bowl, toss together the cactus, onion, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil.
- Season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture in a grill basket or on a grill pan. Do not wash the bowl. Grill until the vegetables are slightly charred and softened, about 5 minutes. Return them to the bowl and toss with the vinegar and cilantro.
- Brush one side of each piece of bread with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Grill the bread, oiled-side down, until golden. Rub the browned sides with the garlic. Place the bread toasted-side up and top with the cactus-onion mixture and cheese. Place on the grill and close the lid. Grill just long enough to melt the cheese, about 1 minute; watch carefully because bread burns easily. Serve hot.