Thursday, October 6, 2011

Christophine (Chayote) With Tomatoes

Christophine With Tomatoes

This comes from yet another out of print cookbook that I'd highly recommend Cooking Caribe by Christopher Idone and Helen McEachrane (it is available on the secondary market for a good price).  As mentioned in the post from yesterday, the Chayote is known in most of the Caribbean as a "Christophine" (or christophene).  This is a very tasty way to treat the little green squashes, as by themselves they are somewhat bland.  They are often paired with tomatoes, themselves a New World native, in Mexico with chiles; here they are not so spicy and are herbed instead.

3 tbsp. olive oil (my note:  for most new world recipe, regular or light olive oil is preferred unless specified otherwise)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. tomatoes skinned and chopped
2 large Chistophines (chayotes) peeled and chopped (you can include the seed)
1 tbsp. chopped basil
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup dry plain breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. chives, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1.  In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the onion, cook until just translucent.  Add in the Christophine, tomatoes and basil.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

2.  In a small skillet melt the butter and add the breadcrumbs, could until golden.  Set aside

3.  Heat broiler.  Add the Christophene mixture to a baking dish, sprinkle on the chives and the cheese.  Top with the buttered breadcrumb and run under the broiler for 5 minutes.


You may bake this in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.  

You may vary the herbs according to taste or what you have on hand

You can you any other summer or winter squash for this.

You can turn this into a salad, by omitting the cooking, tossing the first 7 ingredients together and adding in vinegar and the chives.  Serve chilled

Add sliced green beans

In India they make a very similar dish, adding in a masala (curry) and leaving out the breadcrumb.  The base of the dish is made with ghee, instead of oil.

Baby Chayote

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