Chayote Salad (Ensalada de Chayote)

2 Jan

After some of the excesses of the holidays (and believe me when I say excesses), I decided that a cool, crisp, low-cal, high-fiber, generally good-for-you salad would be just the tonic. However, me being me, I wanted to go a different direction from just a serviceable green salad.

Enter the chayote (Sechium edule — you may know it as christophene if you are French, or alligator pear if you are not). It is a fruit that is used as a vegetable, can be eaten raw or cooked and has many, many uses.

My chayote salad is one of the simpler ways to love it (and at just 11 calories per half cup for chayot, pre-dressing, you will very much love it). The whole thing is reputed to be edible, skin and all, but I do not care for the skin, so I peel it. I do love the seeds (my family has no idea they are edible because I eat them surreptitiously before they ever get to the table!); try them and see what you think!

Look for firm fruit – they may be minty green or white – both are great!

Ensalada de Chayote (Chayote Salad)

Serves four as a side salad

4 Cups water (enough to cover chayotes in a pot)

¼ tsp salt

2 chayotes (firm), rinsed and sliced in half or quarters lengthwise

4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp cilantro leaves, chopped fine (optional)

¼ red onion, sliced thin

1 tsp roasted red pepper, diced

1-2 tsp capers

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Boil water and add salt. Add chayotes, return to the boil and cook for 15-20, until they slide off easily when pierced with a knife.  Allow chayotes to cool.

In the meantime, whisk olive oil and vinegar in a bowl until blended. Whisk in cilantro leaves. Stir in red pepper and set aside.

 Peel cooled chayote with a paring knife (it will come off in sheets if you use the knife to pull the peel off). Chop into rustic chunks. You may eat the seeds right then (which is what I do! Don’t tell) or chop them up and add to salad.

In a bowl, mix all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve. Makes a great side salad for four.

 

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3 Responses to “Chayote Salad (Ensalada de Chayote)”

  1. Tiffany April 4, 2014 at 3:07 am #

    In Australia they are known as chokos.

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide January 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    I’m not sure what these taste like, but the dressing looks fantastic and so does the recipe.

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