BERKELEY (KCBS) – Digging up this year’s crop of Jerusalem artichokes, I noticed the chayote vine was producing beautifully and thought, why not use this stuff together?
Chayote resembles green papaya a little bit, is sometimes easier to find and makes a particularly crunchy alternative. So working from the famous Thai Green Papaya Salad recipe, I wound up with a crazy combination of chayote, cucumber, some watermelon radish, and some of those Jerusalem artichokes fresh out of the ground.
KCBS Food and Wine Editor Narsai David:
Serves 4 – 6
1 medium chayote or green papaya, peeled
1 6 inch long daikon or a small jicama, peeled
2 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS fish sauce or soy sauce
¼ – ½ tsp chili pepper flakes
2 TBS white wine vinegar
1 TBS grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed or grated
¼ cup shredded fresh mint or basil leaves
1/3 cup roasted peanuts or other nuts
Slice the vegetables as thinly as possible into long strips. It’s easiest to slice first with a mandoline or vegetable slicer. Then stack and cut the slices into the narrowest “threads”, about 2-3 inches long.
Set aside and make the dressing by stirring together the sugar, fish or soy sauce, chili, vinegar, ginger, and garlic.
At serving time, toss the vegetables with the dressing and herbs, and sprinkle with the nuts.
NOTE: It makes for an even more interesting salad to use a variety of vegetables. My all-time favorite was a mixture of chayote with cucumber, kohlrabi, jicama and watermelon radish.
Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53 a.m., 12:53 p.m. and 4:53 p.m., and at 2:53 a.m. Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.
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