Adrian Ortega spent much of his life eating and falling in love with his mother’s recipes of cactus omelets, salads, soups and desserts. So it made sense that the chef and owner of La Plaza Supermarket would include the versatile desert plant in his lineup of authentic tacos.
Nicknamed “prickly pear,” the nopal cactus can be found in cities across the Southwest region of Mexico and have been a creative outlet for Mexican chefs like Ortega who have learned overtime how to use the ingredient.
For these specific tacos, the spines of cacti are cut off and cut into strips, washed and cooked. Seasoned with a bit of salt, garlic and cloves, the cactus is packed with a delectable crunch.
Often served on a corn or flour tortilla shell with La Plaza’s house-made black beans and roasted steamed rice, it’s the perfect vegan and vegetarian option for those interested in authentic Mexican tacos.
“You are able to mix and create anything with it,” says Ortega. 13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Cleveland, 216-476-8000, plazasupermarket.com
Click here to order up 30 of Cleveland’s best tacos. Plus, meet the Northeast Ohio restauranteurs mastering Cleveland’s new favorite dish.