Chef’s Summer Recipes: Oscar del Rivero’s Cactus Salad With Portobello Mushroom

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I was so excited when Chef Oscar del Rivero offered his Cactus salad recipe. Cactus is not usually on the menu in most American kitchens and I am thrilled at the chance to give it a little love.

Chef del Rivero is the executive chef of Miami’s Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar and Latam Grill, Talavera Cocina Mexicana and Peacock Garden Cafe, the South Florida restaurants from the Jaguar Hospitality Group. He is Mexican born, so it only makes sense that Cactus would make an appearance in his cooking.

Del Rivero is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and has over 20 years of experience in the culinary industry. He spent time in Mexico, Austria and Spain where he honed his skills and picked up regional influences. He took his knowledge to the Blue Door at the Delano, The Palm Hotel and Talula. Chef del Rivero  attributes his culinary expertise to his passion for the cuisine of Central and South America and Mexico.

So go ahead, get a little adventurous and try something both different and delicious. Chef del Rivero told us that “the next time you sign up to bring a salad to a picnic or party, show up with this Cactus Salad and you will wow your guests. The flavors are savory and unexpected. The Cactus Salad is a lighter way to enjoy an authentic Mexican dish in the summer months. At Talavera we pair this with grilled chicken for a healthy, well-rounded entrée.”

Yields 2 Quarts

For Cactus

Ingredients:

  • 1 30 oz jar of cactus (such as Dona Maria brand (found in specialty Mexican shops) (Rinse to remove brine)
  • 2 red tomatoes; dice to 1/4″x1/4″ (skin only)
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ serrrano pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, julienned
  • ¼ cup- olive oil
  • 4 oz lime juice, no pulp
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients above and let rest in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
For Mushroom
Ingredients:
  • 1 Portobello Mushroom Cap
Method:
  1. Marinate with garlic, salt and olive oil and grill for 30 seconds on each side.
  2. Let rest until ambient temperature.
  3. Slices approximately 1″ (wide) x 1/4″ (thick)
For finishing,
Ingredients:
  • 4 oz spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 oz crumbled feta cheese

Methods:

  • Mix 1 cup of cactus mix with 1 oz of spinach leaves. Place in center of plate.
  • Place mushroom slices, points facing outward, around the edge of the plate.
  • Add the remaining spinach and the cherry tomatoes to center of the plate.
  • Top spinach with remaining cactus mix.
  • Top salad with feta cheese to serve.

Talavera Cocina Mexicana is located at 2299 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134, United


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