Chayote, pronounced chahy-oh-tee, is native to Mexico and sometimes referred to as mirliton or the vegetable pear in North America. It has become a world crop and is grown from Brazil to Australia. With its green, pear-shape and bumpy skin, it’s packed with vitamin C and amino acids. When selecting chayote, look for a bright green and blemish free skin. The squash should feel firm but give a little when squeezed and your fingernail should be able to gently pierce its skin. Serve this delicious Ranch vegetarian favorite with a salad for a scrumptious twist on a classic meal.
1 cup low fat ricotta
2 cups low fat mozzarella
3 chayote squash
1 tsp olive oil
½ cup shredded Parmesan
4 cups spinach
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a mixing bowl combine ricotta, mozzarella and eggs.
- Peel the chayote. It tends to be sticky, so we peel it under cool running water or wear gloves.
- Slice chayote in 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick slices. We use a mandolin to make uniform slices, but a sharp knife will work as well.
- Lightly oil an 8-inch baking dish and cover the bottom with a layer of chayote.
- Spread half the cheese mixture across the layer of chayote.
- Spread 2 cups of spinach, about 2 big handfuls, on top of the cheese mixture.
- Repeat the layers of chayote, ricotta mixture and spinach. You can add a dash dried red pepper flakes for a flavorful kick during this process.
- Top it off with the last layer of chayote and 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 375°F for 40 – 45 minutes.
- Let sit for a few minutes and then enjoy!