Funny things happen when you’re forced to use what’s already in your pantry to feed your family. When my daughter asked me to make something vegetarian for her to snack on, I started roaming through the pantry and came up with this refreshed version of cowboy caviar, calling it cactus caviar because of the agave nectar used to add a touch of sweetness to the tangy lime dressing. I’ve made this on almost a daily basis since and can’t keep it in the refrigerator long enough!
An refreshed version of cowboy caviar using agave nectar from the blue agave cactus
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tsp agave nectar syrup
- 1 tsp Tajin spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 Red onion, small dice
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, with chiles and cilantro added
- 1 15 oz can bean trio (kidney, black and pinto), drained and rinsed (if you can't find a trio mix, any of these would work)
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
Mix all ingredients in a bowl except for olive oil. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season to taste. It should be tangy and tart, but with a hint a sweetness from the agave.
Add all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir gently to combine.
Drizzle in vinaigrette, folding to coat.
Refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavors marry.
Tajin is a tangy, lime seasoning mix that can be found in most grocery stores. This dip will keep for 2-3 days covered and refrigerated.
Don’t be afraid to adjust the ingredients of this cactus caviar to whatever suits your taste. Personally, I don’t care for raw onions, but the acidity in the vinaigrette from the lime juice helps cut the sharpness. By using sweeter red onions with a small dice, it works well here because of the higher sugar content versus other onion varieties.
One seasoning that I discovered a few years ago was Tajin. It has a zingy, lime/salt/chili flavoring that can enhance lots of dishes, from avocado toast, scrambled eggs, tropical fruit like mango. It’s perfect for this cactus caviar salsa dip – I would definitely recommend having this powdered seasoning in your spice drawer!
To see another recipe where I indulge in the flavors of our unique desert, check out my Mexican Harvest Summer Salad!