Napolitas are the paddles of the prickly pear cactus, a sought after food very popular in southern Italy, especially Sicily. The prickly pear fruits called Fichi di India are equally loved. One day while I was hiking in desertous terrain, avoiding the thorns of the prickly pear cacti, I remembered this refreshing Sicilian salad I enjoyed while visiting the island one hot summer. A chilled glass of Valente Emozione Number 1 Montonico is the perfect wine to pair with this exotic salad.
To make this vegan friendly, omit the pancetta and substitute the Pecorino with Violife Plant-Based Parmesan.
See ingredients, directions and pairings.
1/2 Ripe Melon, cubed
2 Napolitas, Prickly Pear Cactus Paddles, dethorned and cleaned
6 ounces Pancetta
2 tablespoons Pine Nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
7 Fresh Basil Leaves, torn
Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste
Chunk of Pecorino Cheese, shaved with a peeler