Cooking With Cactus
Regional Mexican cuisine is trending and well favored for its incredible variety of ﬂavors, textures, and ingredients. Nopales, or cacti, is a traditional ﬂavor-packed ingredient that’s added to many Mexican dishes. Whether it’s fried, braised, or stewed, nopales heightens the ﬂavor, ethnic proﬁle, and appeal of any dish.
• Authentic Mexican cuisine from Los Tacos No. 1, located in New York, features cactus as the center-of-the-plate item in their Nopal Plate served with beans, cheese, and meat, if desired.
• California restaurant El Mexicali serves a specialty dish called costillas de puerco con nopales that consists of tender short ribs simmered to perfection served over cactus and a homemade red sauce.
• Specializing in all things cactus, Denver, CO, restaurant Garibaldi Mexican Bistro serves cactus quesadillas, cactus tacos, pickled cactus salad, and even cactus cocktails.
The Power of Plant-Based
According to the NPD Group, over the past decade consumers under the age of 40 have upped their fresh vegetable intake by 52 percent, and 50 percent of consumers would like foodservice establishments to oﬀer a greater variety of vegetarian options. Consider clever new ways to incorporate this new genre of plant-based entrées onto your menu.
• Vegetable-inspired New York restaurant Nix celebrates all thing vegetable with menu items like cauliﬂower tempura, spicy tofu with chanterelle mushrooms, and a beet burger with horseradish cream, apples, and cucumbers.
• Double Zero, a plant-based restaurant also in New York serves minimally processed plant-based cuisine. Their vegetable creations include zucchini lasagna; toasted broccolini with preserved lemon, garlic, and green raisin; and mushroom panzanella with Tuscan kale, polenta crouton, truffle cream, and caramelized onion vinaigrette.
• Buﬀalo Wings and Rings in Cincinnati, OH, oﬀers hand-breaded fried-to-order cauliﬂower wings drizzled with roasted garlic sauce dusted with Parmesan.