Farmers’ Market Fresh: Cactus Paddles

Farmers from Satiety Vineyards do the prickly work for you.
Farmers from Satiety Vineyards do the prickly work for you.

Combing the farmers’ market is unlike any grocery store experience. You can’t simply head to aisle five in search of tomatoes. Instead, you’ll be looking behind the croissant baker, next to the kiwi preserves vendor, and beside the rhubarb bucket. If you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to miss that single farmer selling something uniquely special.

Thankfully, GreenBeet is here to do the browsing for you! I’ll leave no turnip unturned to bring you the most delectable gems from the downtown Sacramento Sunday market.

This week’s pick? Cactus paddles from Satiety Vineyards of Woodland.

Nestled at the back of the booth you’ll find two elderly gentlemen wielding large kitchen knives. It’s a sight to behold as they manage to rapidly swipe their blades across the paddle, removing any trace of those prickly cactus spikes. They make short work of filling their giant tub to the brim with the succulent, sticky fruit.

GreenBeet was quick to pluck two bright, ripe specimens from the bin and plunk them in my bag. Handing it over the farmer to be weighed, I was even more impressed at the price: a whopping $1 for two beautiful pieces.

I noticed a couple admiring the cactus, and we struck up a conversation. Luck has it they speak Spanish and were able to pass along more information from the farmer. He says the cactuses were picked fresh this morning, but he’s not telling where he finds them.

The couple also shares some quick tips with me for cooking my cactus: dice and sauté it in olive oil with hot peppers, onion, and avocado. Sounds like a winning recipe to me! All in a morning’s work for this produce-loving shopper.

One thought on “Farmers’ Market Fresh: Cactus Paddles”

  1. I’ve never tried cactus paddles before but saw this being prepared as a salad on the food network. After boiling them for a few minutes, the chef cut it into them into strips. He then added red wine, pepper, and some sweet bell pepper and it was good to go.


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