Politismos eMagazine | Grilled Cactus Pear Leaves

Grilled Cactus Pear Leaves

Courtesy of Marko Rossi

Prickly pears are found in abundance in regions all over Greece, the Peloponnese, Crete and most of the islands such as Paros and Antiparos. For years, the fruit of prickly pears was used in pastry and cooking while over the past few years the plant leaves have become a popular delicacy as well.

They can be added raw in salads or even consumed grilled for a unique culinary experience.


Cactus pear leaves

Olive oil

A pinch of salt

A pinch of pepper



  1. Cut the fresh leaves into palm size and use a sharp knife to remove thorns and peel strips.
  2. Wash the leaves to remove the gel, wipe and drizzle with olive oil (**you can store the gel in glass container for future use. It is rich in medicinal purposes, much like aloe and can be used to treat burns).
  3. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Place them on a warm grill surface, roast for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove from grill, score the leaves and add some lime and a pinch of salt.
10 Aug 2017, by Politismos Museum of Greek History in Gastronomyx