Take a pear, combine it with summer squash, a bit of cucumber, and the light flavor of a summer melon, and what do you get?
Yeah, uh, what do you get, Frances? That sounds quite strange…
Let’s back up a bit, and travel south. Each time I’ve been to Jamaica, one dish I’ve eaten and particularly loved was some sort of vegetable mixture containing carrots (easily recognizable) and some other green something. Finally I remembered to ask the cooks and pay attention when in the grocery store there so I would remember what this veggie looked like…
Ok. It looks like a toothless green granny pear, gumming down on her lips. Am I kidding? Nope! Come to find out, “old people’s lips” is actually an American slang term for the veggie.
If you weren’t hungry before, surely you are now? With a description like that?? No?
Well you should be. 🙂 I don’t care what it looks like, this thing is delicious! Has anyone else seen it or eaten it?
Here is the wikipedia article for this veggie. You can find another picture here or on google. It is widely used around the world, primarily in the Caribbean and South America, and goes by a ton of different names. I know it as Chocho from Jamaica, here I found it as Chayote Squash.
I was overjoyed to spot it, in Walmart actually, when getting groceries for Thanksgiving. So I promptly tried to re-create my beloved dish from Jamaica:
Chocho (or Chayote Squash)
The amount is pretty flexible- I used probably 5 large carrots and 3 chocho, but you could make less or more as needed.
Preheat oven to 400.
Peel and slice the veggies. I did remove the skin from the chocho with a veggie peeler (and cored it as I would a pear or apple). While you are doing this, cut a little slice of the raw chocho and taste it- yummy, yes?
Place in a baking dish. Season with several dashes of salt, and sprinkle on maybe a teaspoon of sugar. Add in water till it covers the bottom 1/3 or so of the pan. Put a dab or two of butter on top. (You don’t necessarily need the butter or sugar.. the natural flavors are to die for on their own!)
Cover tightly with tin foil, and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. (Until the carrots are tender all the way through.)
And there you go! Seriously, so yummy and simple. One of those dishes I plan to make again and again. I want to experiment further with this wonderful food!