Chayote Gratinado (Chayote Squash Au Gratin)
- 1½ tablespoons grapeseed oil or olive oil
- 1 cup white onions sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 chayote squashes sliced thin
- 1 poblano pepper diced
- 1 jalapeño minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk at room temperature or slightly warmed
- 1½ cups corn fresh off the cob or frozen
- 2½ cups monterey jack cheese or muenster cheese, shredded
Chayote squash, also known as pear squash, is one of Latin America's best kept secrets. And chayote gratinado (chayote squash au gratin), is one of my best-kept secrets. Chayote resembles a bright, green pear and is native to Mexico. Enjoyed fresh in salads, or cooked in a variety of dishes, it holds up to long cooking times and remains crisp in texture.
For today's recipe, I have combined chayote with fresh corn, poblanos and jack cheese in a warm and bubbling au gratin casserole. Preparing dishes au gratin, rich in melted cheese, is a great way to introduce the family to different vegetables that they otherwise may not try. Next time you are at the market, pick up some chayote squash. Substitute it for potatoes in your next soup or slice it extra-thin and toss it in a salad. You will be pleasantly surprised.
This dish can easily be prepared gluten-free. Substitute the flour with equal amounts of masa harina. Whisk masa harina into cold milk until smooth. Add milk as directed. The results is just a subtle flavor of the corn masa harina in the cheese sauce.