A member of the squash family, christophine (as I grew up calling it in Antigua) or chayote has a flavor between an apple and a pear. It's not much to look at. Truthfully the featured picture is flattering. You might pass it by thinking Imperfect Foods needs to pick it up. But let me tell you, if you're lucky enough to find it at your grocery, snatch it up. You won't regret it!
Christophine can be sauteed, steamed, or eaten raw to name a few. And like apples and pears, it can be used in savory or sweet dishes. It is low-calorie, high in vitamin C, has a moderate amount of fiber, and water-rich. Christophine is being researched for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains flavonoids, polyphenols and saponins, which may lower cholesterol, boost immunity and promote heart health.
Look for firm ones that are bright green with little to no brown spots. The skin may be peeled but is best eaten to get the most out of the nutrients!
2 large or 3 medium christophine, peeled or unpeeled (per your taste)
3 tablespoons regular butter or brown butter
1 large shallot, diced small
2 cloves garlic, chopped small
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
Optional: 1/2 cup crisp pancetta, 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan, a drizzle good, fruity olive oil
1. Cut the christophine in half lengthwise. Cut each piece into half again, lengthwise. You will have a total of 4 pieces. Using a small paring knife or spoon, remove the seed and fibrous center.
2. Cut each into cross-wise pieces, about 1/4-inch thick.
3. Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the christophine and a pinch of salt. Saute the christophine slowly, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes until they are tender but not overly soft. Tip: cover the pan between stirring to allow the stem to help cook the christophine. You will know they are finished then they look translucent.
4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Mix the with fresh parsley. If using, toss with the pancetta and Parmesan and drizzle lightly with olive oil.