Thursday, 17 September 2009

Chayote/christophene/ Cho cho Salad

Christophene, also called cho-cho or choyote, is a rough-skinned, pear-shaped vegetable.On slicing open you’ll find a very pale green and watery interior, with a soft white seed. It’s almost squash-like in appearance, and melon-like on the inside.
Christophenes grow on vines on shady and cool mountain slopes. Easy to grow and harvest, they are quite economical, plentiful and easy to prepare. Not having much of its own flavour, christophenes can be used extensively in cooking. It is approximately 93% water and is neutral in taste.Very low fact. They are readily available in Indian grocers .
The following salad is one of my favourite
  1. 2 cho-cho ,peeled and cut in half. Remove the white seed.
  2. 2 red onions , finely sliced
  3. 1 /2tsp of white wine vinegar
  4. 1 large lemon
  5. 2tsp sunflower oil
  6. 1tbsp flat leaved parsley, finely chopped
  7. 1 or 2 green birds eye chilli ,finely chopped (add according to your preference)
  8. 1 tbsp salt
  9. black pepper freshly grind (never use the powdered stuff)

  • Steam or boil the cho cho, time will vary as they are often different sizes,you want a bit of resistance when you pierce with your knife. Drain set aside to cool.
  • Thinly slice the red onions put into a bowl , add the salt to the onions. Now, this is a little unusual but you must rub and squeeze/massage the salt into the onions. This is something my mum does she says it sweetens the onions. Now ,add some water to the onions, swirl the onions around. . Drain the water and squeeze all the water out from the onions.The salt will be removed and you will be left with lovely mild onions.(They are delicious Ilike to use them when making cheese n onions sandwiches.)
  • Add black pepper to taste. Pour 1 to 2tsp of white wine vinegar .
  • Slice the cho- cho try not to cut it too thick or thin. Add these to the onions. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and add to onions, adjust according to your preference.You are looking for a slight tang and sweetness.
  • Add the sunflower oil , I suppose we are making a deconstructed vinaigrette.Allow the flavours to develop. It allows the cho to soak up the lemony,vinegary dressing. Serve with grilled fish and plain basmati rice

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