The choko is native to Mexico and eaten all over the world and is also known as Chayote. In Australia it has been grown along backyard fences and used to bulks up a stews
(in much the same way as zucchini does) or helps perfect an apple pie. Not so much these days as the fence vine has been replaced by hedges and trees.
As part of the gourd family, along with melons, squash and cucumbers, it’s the perfect mixer and filler. You can add this vegetable to almost any dish, sweet or savory, and it provides nutrition and bulk while absorbing flavour.
How To Store:
Choko or Chayotes should be stored in the refrigerator, lightly wrapped in paper towel for up to two weeks but not near pears or apples. Sliced or cut choko should be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container and used within three to five days.
Choko for freezing shown to us by Jeff in Bunderim
This is the same place we get our fresh ginger from.
This weeks Harvest Hub Choko are local and from the Hawkesbury area.
The good news is:
• It’s high in vitamin C and amino acids.
• It’s versatile and can be mashed, boiled, pickled, baked, sauted or popped into a pie or a stir fry.
• It absorbs flavorings and is good fried with olive oil, coconut oil or butter and salt and pepper – an old Aussie favorite – and even better with Thai, Indian or Indonesian curry combinations, or even cubed and fried until golden, and then tossed in your favourite pesto sauce.
How to cook:
Recipes for Choko are:
1. Mexican Choko
2. Salad Choko
3. Quick Soup Choko
Nan’s Apple & Pear Crumble Choko and Choko Curry with Sweet potato are in the Harvest Hub newsletter 28 April to 3 May2014.
- Hollowed out chayote
- 2 Choko halves, hollowed out
- For the Stuffing:
- Salsa, see below
- 1 tbs sour cream
- refried beans,
- baked along with the chicken.
- For the Salsa:
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes, ripe Roma are good. (6-7 medium tomatoes)
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper or capsicum, finely chopped
- cilantro, chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 lime, juice
- For Refried Beans:
- 1 cup kidney beans (Harvest Hub soaked overnight) or use canned beans
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (or as per your taste)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 green chillies, deseeded (optional) sliced thinly
- Olive oil
- salt to taste
- Prepare Salsa: In a bowl put the ingredients and mix.
- Prepare Refried Beans: In a saucepan with water cook beans until soft. In a fry pan add ¼ tsp oil, bay leaf, garlic, onions, salt and saute until onions are soft. Then add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 min until tomatoes get soft adding the drained beans. Using a masher mash them together adding salt to taste.
- Prepare Choko: Halve and hollow then steam until tender but not overcooked. Cool and then place on plate adding Salsa, cream, beans and chicken.
- 2 Chokos, peeled and stoned
- Fresh Corn Kernels – 1 cup
- Celery – 1 cup, sliced
- For the Herb Dressing:
- Olive Oil – ½ cup
- Red Wine Vinegar – 2 tblsp
- Salt as per taste
- Black Pepper – ground
- Dried Oregano – ½ tsp
- Dried Thyme – ½ tsp
- Flat-leaf Parsley – 3 tblsp, chopped
- Small Onion – ½, finely chopped
- Cut the choko flesh into thick slices. with a steamer saucepan, steam for about 8 minutes or until tender then cool. In a saucepan with hot salted water boil the corn 5 minutes then drain.Blanch the celery for about 40 seconds in boiling water. Drain.
- To Serve: Transfer choko slices to a salad bowl and add the corn and celery.
- To make the dressing:
- In a bowl whisk the oil and vinegar together in a bowl add the salt, ground pepper, oregano, thyme, parsley and onion. Mix well. Pour this over the salad and mix well.
For quick soups
For a quick soup: fry an onion in a tablespoon of coconut oil and Indian curry seasonings, cumin, turmeric and ginger. Add diced choko, and diced sweet potato and boil. Blend together for a beaut nourishing soup. Add some yogurt or cream for extra richness.
No sweet potato? Regular potato will do as will pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli or the mix of vegies you put into a regular mixed vegetable soup. If you’re using broccoli take care not to overcook.
To make a regular vegetable soup with choko, first fry an onion and a crushed clove of garlic in a tablespoon of coconut oil, and then add diced choko, celery, carrots, and pumpkin and fry for another ten minutes. Top with stock and cook until vegetables are done. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For added bulk add white rice or noodles – these can be put in raw 10-15 minutes before serving. For added protein, a can of beans (rinsed and drained)