The chayote squash is a squash I am recently beginning to enjoy. The chayote is an edible plant in the gourd family, (along with cucumber, melon and squash), and is grown all over the world including Hawaii. The flesh is crisp and the flavor is pretty mild and it is can be eaten raw, in salads or soups and grilled or baked.
There is something about the chayote squash that makes me hum the songs from Little Shop of Horrors. Is it just me or does my little friend kind of resemble a young Audrey II? Can't you just hear it saying; "Feed me Seymour!"
I have mostly eaten chayote raw in a slaw or as part of a salad but I happened to see this recipe for Stuffed Chayote with Mushroom and Tomato and thought it looked good. The recipe is from a cookbook that I picked up at a library book sale earlier in the year: Eating Well in Hawaii by Patricia Salvador, Alfred Salvador, Jr., & Joannie Dobbs. The book focuses on lower-fat, lower-cholesterol recipes and has both local-style and mainstream recipes.
Stuffed Chayote with Mushroom and Tomato
Eating Well in Hawaii, Salvador, Salvador Jr., & Dobbs
(Makes 4 servings)
1 1/2 cup cooked white rice
2 large chayote* (approximately 1 pound each)
2 tsp butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup diced onions
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced water-bottled artichoke hearts
1 cup diced tomatoes
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut chayotes in half. Simmer in water for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and turn cut side of chayotes on paper towel to drain. Melt butter in saute pan, saute garlic and onions until onions begin to turn golden. Add mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes. Meanwhile scoop out pulp from chayote using a spoon, leave about 1/2-inch of pulp to the skin so the shell will hold its shape. Dice pulp and add to onion and mushroom mixture, along with artichokes, rice and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Fill chayote shells with mushroom mixture. Combine cheese, paprika, and parsley. Sprinkle over filled shells. Place shells in baking dish and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Serve hot
* Note: Any summer squash can be used for this dish.
Approximate Nutrient Content per Serving: Cal. 230, Fat 5g, Sat. Fat 2.5g, Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 590mg, Carb 42g, Protein 9g
Notes/Results: Very good. The squash are light and healthy but with good flavor. My chayote squash were much smaller than called for in the recipe, so I cut the amount of the filling down. I subbed out leftover brown rice for the white rice and olive oil for the butter. This was also a great recipe to use up some leftover artichoke hearts and tomatoes I had from my swordfish recipe, as well as the oyster mushrooms from my CSA box. I served the chayotes (two since they were so small with only about 1/3-1/2 cup of the filling in each) with a simple green salad with avocado and chopped walnut dressed with lime juice, olive oil and black pepper and a scoop of leftover black beans. The stuffing would be great in any kind of squash or a bell pepper so I will make this again.