Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Real de Catorce~Altitude 9000 feet!
We met Molly's south of the border cousin!!!
Our first stop on the way to San Luis was the town of Real de Catorce it is an altitude of more than 9,000 feet. Recently, Real de Catorce has become popular with tourist & artists since it was the setting for several Hollywood films, namely "The Mexican" starring Julia Roberts & Brad Pitt which featured the Cemetery Church which sits perched at the edge of town overlooking the Catorce Mountain range.
Real de Catorce open air markets were a riot for the senses with the colorful religious items, candy & regional tourist items. The streets are all "paved" with stones taken from the mountain & make walking at that altitude quite a workout. Of course we were offered rides from the locals by both horseback & donkey. For lunch we ate at a wonderful restaurant, El Minero & were served a local specialty: pickled blossoms of the biznaga cactus. These Cabuches were served on a platter with cheese & chips & looked very much like the head of an asparagus. We were all pleasantly surprised...well, almost all of us. The flavor is most likely an acquired taste.
With the only way out being through the 1500 meter tunnel we slowly made our way from Real de Catorce down the mountain with our jars of Cabuches in hand & drove onto San Luis Potosi.
Cabuches Cactus Flower Salad
6 cups mixed lettuces, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cabuches, pickled Cactus Blossoms
1/2 cup chopped hearts of palm
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cooked corn kernels, cut off the cob
1 cup squash blossoms
1/2 cup chopped radishes
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup asparagus tips blanched and chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped grilled Nopal
1/2 cup *Vinaigrette Dressing
Toss with Pepitas before serving
*Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/3 cup Extra Virgen Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp. H2O, salt & pepper to taste
Find Pepitas, squash blossoms & Cabuches at a Mexican grocery store.