Stacked Nopales Quesadillas
Photo: Iain Bagwell
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Amount per serving
- Calories: 717
- Calories from fat: 50%
- Protein: 35g
- Fat: 40g
- Saturated fat: 16g
- Carbohydrate: 51g
- Fiber: 8.8g
- Sodium: 1332mg
- Cholesterol: 63mg
- 3 medium nopales pads (12 oz. total), prepped (see "Nopales Basics," below); or buy strips
- 2 teaspoons plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3 to 4 tsp. minced canned chipotle chile, divided
- 1 medium firm-ripe avocado, diced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
- 3 1/2 cups (10 oz.) shredded jack cheese
- 12 tortillas, about 5 in. wide, either a corn-wheat blend* or all corn
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 1. Preheat oven to 500° with rack set in upper third. Meanwhile, cut nopales into 1/2- by 2-in. strips. In a frying pan, sauté nopales over high heat with 2 tsp. oil until pan is mostly dry, 5 minutes. Reduce heat; cook until barely tender, 3 minutes more. Set aside.
- 2. In a bowl, whisk lemon juice, 1 tbsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and half of chipotle. Gently stir in avocado; set aside.
- 3. In another bowl, toss remaining chipotle with half of onions and the cheese; set aside 3/4 cup. Toss nopales with remaining cheese mixture in bowl. Lightly brush tortillas on both sides with remaining 1 tbsp. oil; sprinkle on one side with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt.
- 4. Set out 4 tortillas on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with half of nopales mixture. Repeat layers. Set remaining tortillas on top and sprinkle with reserved 3/4 cup cheese mixture.
- 5. Bake stacks until golden and crisp at edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Set on plates. Toss avocado mixture with lettuce and remaining onions, then mound on stacks.
- Nopales Basics:
- BUY. Some supermarkets and Latino markets sell cactus with the spines, and others sell it de-stickered and ready to use--whole or cut up. When buying whole pads, look for ones that are smooth, crisp, and small to medium size.
- PREP. To remove spines from pads, put on dish gloves. Scrape a knife almost flat down the length of both sides of pads to shave off spines and barbed, fuzzy dots. Pare rims with a vegetable peeler. Trim bases; rinse pads.
- COOK. Once nopales hit the heat, they release a sticky juice (like okra), but it cooks off.
- *Find corn-wheat tortillas such as La Tortilla Factory Hand Made Style at many regular grocery stores and at latortillafactory.com.
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