CHAYOTE WITH JALAPENO-LIME DRESSING
From: Celebrating the Seasons by John Littlewood
Chayote is delicious, versatile, and readily available, yet unfamiliar to many people. Cooked chayote is juicy and firm like a honeydew melon, and tastes a bit like zucchini.
Serves 6 to 8
• 5 chayotes
• 2 quarts water
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• Jalapeno-lime dressing (recipe follows)
1. Peel chayotes and cut into large cubes, including the seed.
2. Bring water and salt to a boil, add chayote cubes, and simmer 8 to 9 minutes, or until slightly firm but easy to cut with a knife. Drain and spread out on a baking pan to cool.
3. While chayote is cooling, make Jalapeno-lime dressing.
4. Transfer chayote to a bowl and toss with the dressing. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature 1 or 2 hours. Toss occasionally to coat chayote well with dressing.
5. Serve at room temperature.
• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
• 2 teaspoons roughly chopped cilantro
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• Juice of 3 limes (about 1/3 cup)
• 1/3 cup olive oil
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
• I used to discard the seed in the center of the chayote. When I discovered its nut-like flavor, I started cooking with it.
• Chayotes can be peeled with a vegetable peeler, but you may need a paring knife to remove the deeply wrinkled skin.
• Raw, peeled chayote has an unusual, slippery texture. Be careful when peeling and cutting—it can get away from you! Wash your hands well after handling chayote, or the sticky residue may cling to your skin. To peel large amounts, wear rubber gloves.
• Jalapeno peppers vary considerably in spiciness. If you like hot foods, use the seeds. Wash your hands right after cutting jalapenos. Wear rubber gloves when handling large quantities.
• If you're a real "chilehead," use 2 jalapeno peppers in this recipe.