notes from the mexican kitchen
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Roast Chayote, Make Tacos, Declare Victory

Look, we know the light, sweet flavor and juicy texture sometimes gives chayote a bad rap.

But I’d contend that’s simply because home cooks don’t understand how to bring out the chayote’s most positive attributes. Here’s the tricks for this recipe: High-heat roasting and a few scoops of green chile adobo, that versatile, spicy, herby, make-ahead season.

Underscore it with herbs (use a big handful of cilantro, torn basil or torn sorrel if you don’t have the green adobo) and a few drops of lime, then fill out the dish with tofu or crumbled goat cheese and you have a dynamic light meal.

Together, it makes for a perfect taco filling when served with warm, fresh tortillas. Layer it with black bean refritos for a special touch.

Served over greens such as baby arugula or watercress, it becomes a robust salad.

Chayote Asado con Hierbas y Tofu (o Queso de Cabra)
Servings: 2as a light main dish, 4 as a side
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Ingredients

  • 4largechayotes, peeled (if you wish), pitted and cut into ¾-inch chunks
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2tablespoons fresh lime (or lemon or other tart citrus) juice, plus a little finely grated zest from the rind
  • 8ounces (about 1/2 package) fresh silken tofu OR 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (a not-too-briny feta works well too), broken into large chunks
  • 3tablespoonsGreen Chile Adobo

Instructions

Turn on the oven to 425 degrees and adjust the rack to the middle. (If your oven has a convection setting, this is a good time to turn it on.)

Toss the chayote with the olive oil and a generous amount of salt (usually about ½ teaspoon) and cracked pepper (usually about ¼ teaspoon).  Spread it onto a rimmed baking sheet, slide it into the oven and roast, turning every few minutes, until the chayote is beautifully browned and tender, about 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and toss with lime juice, lime zest, and 3 tablespoons of the Green Chile Adobo. Divide between four warm serving plates and gently fold the tofu into the chayote with a spoon (if you’re using cheese, scatter it on top). If you have any leftover parsley or cilantro, sprinkle some on each plate and you’re ready to eat.  This makes a perfect taco filling (especially layered with black bean refritos); served over greens such as baby arugula or watercress, it becomes a robust salad.

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