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Recipe Swap: Chayote Squash Cooks Fast Like Zucchini | To dine

Recipe Swap: Chayote Squash Cooks Fast Like Zucchini |  To dine

Mary Samuels recently wrote to ask about chayote squash and the best ways to prepare it.

Chayote squash is a member of the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. Although firmer than zucchini or summer squash, it can generally be prepared the same way as those vegetables.

It is popular in the Caribbean and Mexico, and it appears in New Orleans Creole dishes under the name mirliton.

Chayote (pronounced CHY-o-TAY) is usually cooked, but can be eaten raw in salads, where it adds a nice wet crunch with a texture (but no flavor) somewhat similar to a green apple. In appearance, it resembles a whole green pear or a chopped green apple. The taste is mild – some would say bland – not unlike cucumber or zucchini.

The skin can be a bit tough, so some people remove it. But sometimes it’s soft enough to be used as is. There is also a seed in the middle, but most people eat that.

A quick sauté with some favorite herbs or spices, onion and other vegetables, such as tomato, can be a nice side vegetable, especially for chicken or fish. It’s also sometimes steamed — or steamed until partially cooked, then done with a few minutes of sautéing. It can also be tossed with oil, salt, pepper and any favorite herbs or spices and roasted – about 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

Send requests or recipes to Recipe Swap, c/o Michael Hastings, Food Editor, Winston-Salem Journal, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101; or email [email protected] Include name, address and a telephone number during the day. Previously published recipes are available at www.journalnow.com.