Spinach Salad With Crisp Red Chiles
|Dried california chilies||6 Large (Anaheim Chili)|
|Olive oil/Salad oil||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Nopales/1 jar (15 oz.) nopalitos, drained and rinsed||1 Pound, drained, rinsed (Fresh Whole / Diced)|
|Red onion||1 Large, thinly sliced|
|Sliced radishes||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Mozzarella cheese||1 Pound, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (Queso Asadero)|
|Ripe avocados||2 Large|
|Cider dressing||2 Tablespoon|
Discard spinach stems and any yellow or wilted leaves; wash spinach and pat dry.
Wrap in paper towels, enclose in plastic bags, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
Also discard tough watercress stems and yellow leaves; wash and crisp watercress as for spinach.
With scissors, cut chiles crosswise into thin strips; discard seeds and stems.
In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, stir oil and chiles over low heat until chiles are crisp, 2 to 3 minutes (watch closely to avoid burning).
Lift chiles from oil; set aside.
Save oil for dressing.
If whole cactus pad has thorns or prickly hairs, hold pad with tongs and use a knife to scrape off thorns or hairs (wear gloves).
Trim around edge of pad to remove skin and any thorns, then peel remaining pad if skin is tough.
Cut into about 1/2 -inch squares.
In a 3- to 4-quart pan, bring about 8 cups water to a boil.
Add fresh cactus, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, until cactus is barely tender when pierced, about 5 minutes.
Drain and rinse well with water.
If using canned cactus, omit cooking.
Tear spinach into, bite-size pieces; you should have 3 to 4 quarts.
Place half the spinach in a large salad bowl.
Top with half each of the watercress, onion, radishes, cactus, and cheese.
Repeat layers. (At this point, you may cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.)