Enjoy an awesome chayotes, roasted veggies and lentil curry salad recipe from Abby Himes.
By Abby Himes
Have you ever cooked with Chayotes? I sure as heck hadn’t. I’d seen these grinning, green…things in the grocery store, tucked inside little plastic baggies but never took the time to introduce myself. I love the way it looks like it’s smiling at you – such a happy little plant. The skinny on it is that it’s part of the gourd family, grown in Central America (mine came all the way from Costa Rica) and is used in all kinds of cooking – Creole/Cajun, Latin American, Indian, Philippines and more I’m sure. It kind of tastes like yellow squash but firmer.
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons Maharajah curry powder from Penzey's
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon curry
- dash of cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- pinch of cardamom
- 1 chayotes, chopped (seed removed)
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch carrots, halved length-wise
- few new potatoes, halved
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Cilantro for finishing
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. And now get started on the lentils. I followed directions from thekitchn that worked perfectly for me. Pour the water in a large saucepan, add the lentils and bring to a boil. Mix together the spices (cinnamon through cardamom) and add to the lentils. Once boiling, reduce heat to a slow simmer, as they say the lentils should just slightly move around. Simmer, uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Wait on adding salt to the lentils until they have fully cooked, it helps them from breaking down to mush during the process.
- Once the oven is preheated, toss the carrots and potatoes in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Start with just the potatoes on the pan first and roast for 15 minutes, at that point add the carrots and finish roasting both carrots and potatoes the final 15 minutes until golden brown.
- While the lentils are simmering away, and the veggies are roasting, in a saute pan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and chayotes and cook for about 6 minutes. Finally add the garlic and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add everything to a large bowl and mix well together. Add salt and pepper as needed. Finish with some chopped cilantro and enjoy! For leftovers this is best served warm - so throw it in the microwave for a minute. The vegetarian in me hates to admit... it's even better with chicken...we just added some leftover rotisserie from the store.
Abby can be found cruising her local farmer's market and co-op looking for fresh, new, flavors and sustainable options. She sees food as an adventure, and is always excited to try something new. Abby is also the creator and voice behind the food blog, Seaweed & Sassafras.