Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chayote Salad

A while back, The Pit and I saw a cooking show that incorporated a vegetable called the chayote. Never one to willingly sample the weird and the new, I was not particularly enthused, but The Pit wanted to try it, so I dutifully bought a couple of the pear-shaped globes when I saw them at the supermarket. They were $0.79 each, by the way, and located over by the potatoes. Here's one in my hand for a size comparison:

I stuffed them into the refrigerator, and proceeded to ignore them for two weeks, until The Pit chopped one up, and forced me to try it. The vegetable is in the squash/cucumber family, so I suppose it's no surprise that it was fairly bland, a bit reminiscent of a cucumber or very mild squash, but with a more pleasing texture...nice and crispy, more like an apple. I thought I also detected hints of cauliflower, and the seed tasted a little mushroomy to me. Definitely different from anything I'd tried before, but quite pleasant once we removed the seed.

Although the show we watched had boiled the chayote and used it like a potato in a recipe, we decided to audition it in a salad. We used the following ingredients, which resulted in two large portions for dinner, plus a smaller one for The Pit's lunch the next day.
  • 1 chayote, peeled and diced
  • 1 large vine-ripened tomato, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons green and red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise*
  • salt and pepper
* I know some of you won't love the mayo as salad dressing, but it was delicious. You can substitute your favorite dressing instead.

1: Dice tomato, bell pepper, and onion. Add to a medium sized mixing bowl.

2: Although wikipedia says it isn't necessary, peel the chayote, chop it in half, and scoop out the slightly lighter seed in the middle. Dice and add to the bowl.

3: Chop up the fresh dill and parsley, mix with other ingredients.

4: Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste, and mix in the mayonnaise or your favorite dressing.

The results? Delicious: The Pit and I both had seconds, leaving barely anything for him to take for lunch. I'm glad he forced me to try the chayote, because it's a nice change of pace from our usual salads, keeps well in the fridge, and is apparently full of various vitamins and minerals. I think we'll be experimenting with it in other recipes too.


  1. skepticism. It is a very ugly vegetable.

  2. Apparently the older they are, the more wrinkly and hence ugly they get. So I can understand your reaction from that first wiki picture. But the one in my hand just kinda looks like a green pear, no?