Heirloom Bean, Cactus and Roasted Chile Salad

A true southwestern salad, this hearty recipe is a delicious journey through bright flavors and unique textures.
2 cupsany fresh shelling beans
1 cupcactus paddles, diced (3-5 paddles)
1 cuplime juice
zest of 3 limes
1/2 cupolive oil
salt to taste
1 bunchcilantro
1 cuproasted chiles
1 cuproasted spring onions

Serves 6-8

To make this recipe by HEARTH Chef Tim Byres, start by shelling the beans and adding to a large bowl. Fill with water until beans are well covered, cover the bowl, and leave to soak overnight. The next day, strain remaining liquid from beans and rinse until water drains clear.

To prepare cactus paddles, start by removing spines and washing thoroughly. Dice into small- to medium-sized squares. Over medium heat, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice on hand to shock the cactus when it comes out of the water. With the water at a rolling boil, blanch the cactus for about 30 seconds. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place directly into the ice bath. Cactus will ooze juices once cut, so it will need to be thoroughly rinsed right before it is served. 

Wash chiles, trim off tops, remove seeds, and dice. Clean outer skin and roots off spring onions and slice into moderately thin rounds. In a pan over medium heat with a little olive oil, sauté onions and chiles until caramelized.

In a large bowl, combine beans, chiles, spring onions, cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Mix until each ingredient is well distributed. Right before serving, very thoroughly rinse cactus before mixing in with the other ingredients.