Gardening Tip & Recipe: Prickly Pears

Todi Tagani, chef gardener of Masseria Torre Coccaro and Maizza, explains why and how to cut cactus plants in the winter: “The plants seem to actually long for this kind of treatment: It gives them space to breath and refresh before the next long and hot summer. Another reason to cut them down every winter (while the plants are kind of “sleeping”) is the quality of the fruit: Only well treated, regularly cut plants will develop a big and tasty, juicy prickley pear.”

Any idea how to serve prickly pears?  Here’s what Natale Marasciulo, barista at Masseria Torre Coccaro, suggests:

“Peel them and chill the entire fruits down in the fridge, keep them at around 2-5 degrees for a few hours. Cut them in slices of about 4 mm, decorate them on a plate, sprincle a couple of fresh mint leaves on top and pour a liquor glass of Sambuca over the fruit plate. Enjoy with or without brown sugar or honey  - you’ll find it’s DELICIOUS!