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Nopal and Jicama Salad

The perfect cross between neighborhood eatery and high-class
concept dining, SpiritLand Bistro never gets dull. In addition to
their regular menu, weekly specials each follow a theme. Drawing
inspiration from traditions as diverse as Fiji, Denmark, and the
Mediterranean, chef and co-owner Joel Koch creates an exciting new
tasting menu each week. That on its own would be enough to draw
raves, but making it extra spectacular is the restaurant’s
commitment to organic, sustainable ingredients and catering to
every dietary need, from vegetarian to vegan to gluten-free.

This week, in celebration of Mexican Independence, the specials
include pacific cod poblano with roasted chayote, almond, and guava
flan; and this fresh salad of nopal cactus and jicama. Co-owner
Gary Grenus of course recommends you use all-organic ingredients:
“The Farmers Markets and Mesa Produce are a couple of great places
to pick up organic produce.”

Nopal Cactus & Jicama Salad (serves 6) 1 T.
vegetable oil 2 paddles of nopal cactus, cut into julienne strips*
¼ c. lime juice ¼ c. red wine vinegar 1½ c. olive oil Salt &
pepper to taste 3 c. jicama, peeled and shredded ¼ head purple
cabbage, thinly shredded ½ bunch watercress tops 1 lb. baby greens
3 Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and
cut into strips Heat oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add
the cactus and sauté for a few minutes, until tender. Refrigerate
until chilled. In a bowl, combine lime juice and vinegar. Whisk in
olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place baby greens in a
large bowl and add a portion of vinaigrette to taste. Toss and
place on salad plates. In the same bowl, mix cactus, jicama,
cabbage, and watercress with remaining vinaigrette. Arrange on top
of the baby greens. Garnish with tomato and avocado. * To
handle the nopales, Grenus suggests wearing a pair of heavy rubber
gloves. Lay the cactus paddles flat on a cutting board and slice
the needles off with a paring knife before cutting into
strips.

4·1·1  SpiritLand Bistro, 230 E. Victoria St., 966-7759,
spiritlandbistro.com.

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