Chayote: a version of squash you will love ~ Recipe: Stewed chayote with tomatoes and chipotle pepper
Ok, so this blog is usually about things you can find packaged. But chayote squash is such a different vegetable that many people bypass on their way through the produce department, that despite no wrapper, I thought it was a good enough product to chat about.
Chayote (shy-oh-tee), is a Mexican squash, pear shaped and sweet in flavor. It goes by many names, mirliton and cactus pear among them. But no matter how you want to say it, chayote will make a wonderful addition to your vegetable choices.
Look for chayotes that are hard as a rock. You usually peel the outer skin, but its so thin that even when cooked it usually is ok. There is a center pit that is very soft, just cut around it when you chop the chayote and discard. You can usually find chayotes all year long. Keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
I love it cold as well. You can simply peel and shred the chayote. Combined with shredded carrots and a little bit of red wine vinegar and olive oil with a pinch of cayenne pepper tossed in, it makes a refreshing salad.
But here’s my favorite way to prepare it, all stewed together with tomatoes, onions and garlic and a spicy chipotle pepper.
STEWED CHAYOTE WITH TOMATOES AND CHIPOLTE PEPPER
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium chayotes, peeled and cubed into 3/4 inch pieces
1 (15 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 chipolte pepper in adobo sauce, minced
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp low fat sour cream
1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute 2 minutes.
2. Add in the chayote and saute for about 5 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and chipolte pepper and raise the heat. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the chayote is soft, about 25 minutes. Add a bit of water if the mixture looks dry.
3 Season with salt and pepper and serve with sour cream.
All photographs courtesy of Olga Berman