There’s nothing like roasting tomatoes and garlic scapes before 9am and then eating a bowl of chayote noodles with crab, topped with a sauce made from said tomatoes and ‘scapes.
Wait a sec. Chayo-what? That’s right – chayote noodles, noodles made from chayote.
Today, we’re learning how to spiralize a chayote (it’s easier than a zucchini) and then making this succulent summer pasta.
Succulent’s one of those words, that what I first started food blogging, I vowed never to use. It’s so…. naughty, for lack of a better term. I feel like I have to be wearing red lipstick and heels, dipping fresh strawberries into champagne to say the word succulent.
But ‘ay, it’s Monday and I’m breaking the rules. Succulent. Succulent. Succulenttt!
Let’s get to that chayote.
I discovered the chayote while grocery shopping in Hoboken. When I used to live in Hoboken, I’d always go to a grocery store called “The Garden of Eden” (now known as Aspen Marketplace) because they always had the freshest, wildest produce – it was like an international farmer’s market – you can find anything from yuccas and plantains to bean sprouts and prickly pears.
So, I went back to that grocery store the other week, looking for inspiration. I spotted the chayote and decided to give it a try, since it looked spiralizable. SUCCESS! They spiralize so easily, so quickly and the noodles come out in perfect spirals, just like with a zucchini. I expressed my excitement first on Instagram:
Chayote is technically a fruit, but eaten more like a vegetable. The texture is just like a squash, somewhere between a cucumber and a potato. They’re extremely mild in flavor, which is why they’re perfect for spiralizing into noodles – they absorb any sauce you simmer them in.
Chayotes are native to Mexico but are cultivated in similarly warm climates worldwide. Chayotes are popular in Central American cuisine, as well as in the South (of the USA!) Chayotes are also referred to as pear squash, mirletons, cho-cho, chouchoute, or choko.
In Brazil, they call them “chuchus.” How about that USA/Portugal game on Sunday night, eh? It ain’t over ’til it’s over, that’s for sure. What a nail biter!
How do you spiralize them? Literally, you just center them on the blade, secure with the teeth on the handle and spiralize! Very quick and easy – no prep required.
The chayote yields luscious noodles (luscious is kind of like succulent, isn’t it?):
As for this sauce, we’re using seasonal garlic scapes, roasting them with tomatoes, thyme and oregano and pureeing them. This tomato sauce is so fresh and light, it pairs perfectly with the jumbo lump crab meat. Tossing crab meat in with pasta during the summertime (and it’s OFFICIALLY SUMMER!) is one of my favorite meals – it melts into warm sauces and creates a delicious seafood taste.
I’m in love with chayotes, so expect to see them on the blog more often. If you don’t have chayotes at your local grocery store, just use zucchini instead – they’re very similar in texture and taste!