pale and beautiful

Call it chayote, merliton, hup jeung gwa, or whatever you want, it’s my favorite squash these days.

Zucchini and yellow squash doesn’t do it for me. They’re squishy. They’re lackluster. As far as I’m concerned, zucchini belongs in quick breads and not on my plate as a side dish.

Ah, but chayote? It’s such a delicate flavor – just barely sweet. It tends to absorb the taste of whatever it’s being cooked with. The texture? It’s on the firm side of squashes. I had googled “chayote squash recipes” one day and was thoroughly put off. So many recipes demanded that my little chayote be covered up in herbs, sauce, or… eww, cheese. I felt like it was misunderstood.

Tonight, I decided to go simple. I cut up three chayote squashes, one sweet onion, and lightly covered them in olive oil and a pinch of salt before throwing them in an oven, heated to 400F, for about 35 minutes. (Word of advice – chayote has a bit of a thick skin, so I recommend peeling it. However, it produces a very slimy film when you do that. The film washes off your hands easily enough, but it’ll really dry out your skin. If you can, peel them with gloves on.)

The result? Well, I ate two-thirds of it in one sitting. I’m so full right now, that I have to take a break before I finish the rest of my dinner. Sometimes, I’m such a glutton. *blush* On the bright side, it’s a fairly healthy side dish. I find that chayote does well when roasted. After it’s done cooking, it’s still wonderfully moist and pairs so well with just onion.

I remembered to take photos. I can’t let Asano-mama receive all of the attention for her whale cake, can I? 

~ Mikan

2 thoughts on “pale and beautiful

  1. I love chayote also my favorite recipe has Jalapenos in it .
    I don’t know if it actually dries out your hands or at lives a gummy film, I read on another site if you peel it underwater that eliminates the problem. what I have found is by stabbing it with a fork on the smiley end I could peel the whole thing without getting the juice on me, and I would take a knife and cut out the Smiley part first and push the fork in their and peel away.
    I will try your recipe this fall when my plants are bearing.

    Creamy Saute of chayotes Squash:
    6 servings

    3 tbsp. unsalted butter
    1 jalapeno. seeded and minced (I used 2)
    2 chayote Squash. Peeled and thinly sliced
    Salt and finely ground black pepper to taste
    1/2 cup heavy cream (I use can milk)
    1 tablespoon it minced fresh chives
    1 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro

    Heat butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
    Add jalapeno and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
    Add squash, salt and pepper.
    Cover the pan, reduce heat and cook until the squash is just tender about 5 minutes.
    Remove the cover and add the cream to the squash; toss gently. Raise heat and simmer the mixture uncovered until the cream is almost evaporated and has coated the squash.
    Add chives and cilantro and correct seasoning.

  2. Thanks for the recipe, Babette! I’ll have to let Plumduff know about it – that sounds like it’s well suited to her tastes. She definitely likes jalapeno and cilantro. (Cilantro scares me like you wouldn’t believe – lol!)

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