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!
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Roasted Garlic Scape and Tomato Chayote Noodles with Crab
- 15 ounces of tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4.5 ounces one large bunch garlic scapes, diced
- 3 chayotes about 10.5 ounces each
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup jumbo lump crab meat
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On one baking tray, place in the tomato slices. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the thyme and oregano and set aside.
- On another baking tray, place in your garlic scapes. Toss with the rest of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake both the garlic scapes and tomatoes for 25 minutes.
- As the garlic scapes and tomatoes are baking, spiralize your chayote, using Blade C. Set aside.
- When the tomatoes and garlic scapes are done, place into a food processor with the lemon juice and pulse until made into a sauce, with the garlic scapes pureed. Taste and adjust with more salt, if needed.
- Place a large pot over medium heat and pour in the tomato-scape sauce. Let the sauce start to bubble and then add in the chayote noodles and crab meat. Toss to combine and cook, tossing frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until chayote noodles are al dente.
- Divide into bowls and top with fresh parsley.