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Sep 27, 2008 09:29 AM

The revenge of the Chayote leaves

I was listening Rick Frontera's show on PBS about tamales and he started talking about all the health benefits of Chayote leaves.

I have an agressive, to put it mildly, chayote plant. The thought of being able to hack away another part of this plant fills me with a type of insane glee. So, any recipe ideas would be appreciated. Steves did warn the leaves are toxic unless cooked.

So far on the web I've found these (there ain't many)

Steamed Tilapia Fillet on Sayote Tops Ensalada

Chayote Leaves with Garlic Recipe

Salmon head and chayote tops soup

While that last recipe might be the health food of the gods, chayote are disturbing enough to me. The thought of a soup of it with a fish head staring at me from the green murky depths ... don't think that would be a good thing for me nightmare-wise. There's a picture on the website.

I love the taste of chayote. This is my post about the chayote itself.

Chayote chronicles part 1 – raw, fried, boiled, microwaved ... wonderful and so pretty

BUT ... the thing just takes over. It makes kudzu look like a wimp. One hot, still day when not a thing was moving. The tip of the chayote started moving and twisting, reaching out and trying to attach to something ... no really. Maybe that part of the feeler was just so light that a micro breeze moved it ... but still ... I think the chayote was the REAL inspiration for Little Shop of Horrors.

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  1. My mom planted a chayote seedling one spring day on the southwest corner of our home when I was a kid. By summer, it had covered half the side of the house. By mid-summer, I was assigned the daily duty of climbing on our roof to pick the chayotes and to also cut back the vines. By the end of summer, I was doing battle with the chayote as it took over almost the entire west side of our home and covered approximately a third of the rooftop - all from just one little vine. Granted, it provided food as well as shade, but we were inundated with chayotes, trying to give away as much of the the harvest as possible but most of our neighbors had no clue what chayote was and were somewhat put off by its appearance. Is it a fruit? Is it edible? What's with the texture? All I know is that if times get really tough, I will know what to plant and where to plant it at my home...

    1. RW - maybe you live near me??! (I *have* seen you on the SF bay area board...) several years ago my neighbor had a *huge* chayote that went over the fence and completely encircled our little yard (berkeley). we ended up with bagfulls, but unfortunately (I was pre-Chowhound) I had no way of finding out about them. Now the plant has returned, but is obviously more in check, as we only have one vine and, so far, 3 chayotes... planning to grill them tomorrow... yum!

      1 Reply
      1. re: meels

        I've surrendered this year. The chayote is stronger than i am. I just klip the parts that reach out to my door. Hasn't been a great chayote year so far though. Only two.

      2. I sure hope chayote leaves aren't toxic raw, I just drank a giant glass of them! Naw, I KNOW they're not - its a cooling healthy drink consumed in Southern Mexico, where I learned to make the following drink: roughly chop a big ole bunch of chayote leaves stems and vines, put them in the blender with the juice of 2-3 lemons, agave nectar or honey to taste, and some water and orange juice if you have it. Its delectable.