Chayote Summer Salad

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There is a little known, pear-shaped, light green vegetable at the supermarket that is waiting just for you.  It is called Chayote or Mirliton squash.   Chayotes have a mild,  sweet taste and lend themselves well to summer salads which can accompany nearly any dish.  Their texture is somewhat like a cross between a potato and honeydew melon.  Chayote  is not as commonly used in the U.S. as it is in Mexico, where it is consumed as a staple vegetable.   Chayotes are low in  calories, high in dietary fiber, and contain anti-oxidants, minerals, and B-complex vitamins.  Being part of the gourd family like zucchini, chayotes provide a certain amount of potassium and vitamin-C.

Chayote summer Salad:

3 Chayote squash

1/3 cup red pimento diced

1/3 cup scallion stems diced

1/3 cup purple onion thinly sliced

1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped

1-2 ripe but firm avocados cubed

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Juice of 1 lime ( approx. 1/3 cup)

1 large garlic clove mashed

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Peel the chayotes with a regular peeler and cut into strips discarding the white seed in the center.  Bring three quarts of water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt and add the sliced chayotes to the water.  Bring to a boil, and allow to cook for 5 minutes.  Strain the chayotes, transfer them to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool.  Once cool, add the other ingredients except the avocado, mix gently and again set aside to prepare the vinaigrette.  Combine  and thoroughly mix all of the vinaigrette ingredients.  I prepare it by placing the ingredients in a small plastic container, which I can then cover tightly and shake to mix thoroughly.  Add the avocado cubes to the salad, add the vinaigrette and mix well but gently.  Refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes and you now have a thoroughly delicious and refreshing summer salad.


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