Week 16: Chayote

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Chayote is Chayoteanother one of the unusual ingredients I’ve found to have several aliases. In different countries it is known as sayote, mango squash, choko, chuchu, chow-chow, chocho, christophene, custard marrow, xuxu, mirliton, and the most fitting, vegetable pear and pear squash. They really do look a lot like pears, except a bit more wrinkly.

In reality, they are in the gourd family and have 1 large, edible seed inside. The skin is also edible on small, young chayotes, although large ones have tough, inedible skin but are easier to stuff.

Chayotes have a mild taste with just a hint of sweetness and are very succulent. They are versatile and used both raw and cooked. Try them boiled, mashed, fried, baked or stuffed. They can also make a nice addition to salads, coleslaw and even apple pies. (In fact, there used to be a rumor in Australia that McDonald’s used chayotes in their apple pies.)

We roasted the chayote with acorn squash and bell pepper and served it in couscous with fresh herbs and a lovely vinaigrette.

Couscous with Chayote and Acorn Squash

Makes 2 servings.

  • 1 small chayote, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small acorn squash, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 1/2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 T olive oil

Couscous:

  • 2 C couscous
  • 2 1/2 C water
  • 1 T butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Vinaigrette:

  • 6 T champagne vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 t stone-ground mustard
  • 1 t honey mustard

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place chayote and acorn squash in a casserole dish and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and roast for 30 minutes.

Saute the bell pepper, garlic and shallots until tender. Mix in rosemary just before they vegetables are done.

Heat 2 1/2 C water in a small saucepan along with butter, salt and pepper. Once water is boiling, add couscous, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes, then remove cover and fluff with fork.

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Combine roasted chayote and squash, sauteed vegetables, parsley, couscous and vinaigrette in a large bowl, stirring to combine and coat couscous and vegetables with vinaigrette.

6 Responses to “Week 16: Chayote”
  1. denise @ quickies on the dinner table writes:

    I cook chayote often, but not like this! This looks like a wonderful option for vegetarian Saturday at our house. I might just try it this weekend :) Saved!

  2. Sophie writes:

    I had no idea these could be used in apple pies! I’ve seen them at the store but never purchased them because I wasn’t sure what to do with ‘em, sounds like it’s quite a versatile food.

  3. breadandbeta writes:

    What a great choice of ingredient. I see chayote in the market all the time, yet have no idea what to do with it. Thank you for a good-looking introductory recipe.

  4. krissy @ thefoodaddicts.com writes:

    ohhh so that’s what they’re called! my mom used to buy chayotes all the time to make soup, and i had no idea what it was called. i just thought they were squashes (which i guess they are), but it’s good to know them by it’s real name. sounds like you had a very healthy dish here!

  5. Stephanie writes:

    Let me know how you like it Denise!

  6. Stephanie writes:

    Apparently they can! I can’t quite imagine it but I think if you mixed them in with apples, you could probably trick people. It would be interesting to try it out and not tell people before they ate the pie.

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