To Prepare Napalitos
It’s important to scrub each paddle before cooking with a brush and remove any node where new thorns are developing. Slice the paddles from top to bottom about 1/2 inch wide and dice to 1/2 inch. Place in cold water and bring to a boil for 5-6 minutes, drain and repeat the boil until the napalitos are fork tender. This will remove the slimey liquid ( called babas) similar to aloe vera juice. Napalitos can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and are best added to soups, stews, burritos, salads, salsa and scrambled eggs with chorizo.
Ingredients for Salsa
- 1 lb napalitos, prepared and chilled
- 6 to 8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 or more jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced (or minced chipoltes)
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 or 2 Mexican oregano leaves, minced (or 1/4 tsp dried oregano)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 or 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 small can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup or more of shelled pumpkin seeds
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer so flavors will blend. Serve with tortilla chips, nachos, burritos, or as a condiment with meat dishes. Substitute sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or almonds for pumpkin seeds. Use northern beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans instead of black beans or a combination of beans works well also.