Chayote is one of those vegetables that was mostly relegated to soups in our house. I enjoyed their mild flavor and they were a nice addition to a vegetable soup, but that’s as far as it went. Then, one day we were watching PBS and Rick Bayless’ show was on where he made this salad. I was sold- so simple, yet a flavorful new- to- me way to enjoy this vegetable. Since then, I have made this roasted chayote salad twice, one on the grill which gave the chayote a nice, smoky flavor, and once roasted in the oven. My favorite was the grilled version, but the most accessible way is to use the oven.
Roasted Chayote Salad with Green Chile Dressing
4 large chayotes, pitted and cut into ¾” pieces
2 tabl;espoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons green chile adobo
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice plus finely grated zest (just a little)
4 oz queso fresco, crumbled
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (convection setting works great for this) and adjust the rack to middle position.
In a large bowl, toss the chayote with olive oil, salt and pepper until coated. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and toss with the green chile adobo, lime juice and zest. Place in a serving dish and garnish with queso fresco and cilantro leaves.
Green Chile Dressing
½ head of garlic, skin on with cloves separated
4-5 fresh serrano chiles, stems removed
1 bunch cilantro, thick stems removed, roughly chopped
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, thick stems removed, roughly chopped
1 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
On a comal or in a large dry skillet, roast the garlic and chiles until soft and browned, about 10- 15 minutes.
As soon as garlic is cool enough to handle, remove skins and place all ingredients in a blender. Process until almost smooth. Transfer to a pint sized jar and store covered in the refrigerator.
*This will last several months in the refrigerator if it is covered with a layer of olive oil.