Chayote, a vine-grown gourd related to the squash, is now available in Britain. It is called mirliton in Louisiana, choko in Australia and vegetable pear and pear squash elsewhere. It comes in dark green spiny varieties and, more commonly, in a paler smooth-skinned form. They are usually peeled, halved and deseeded before cooking, which may be boiling, frying, or stuffing and baking. Boiling is the least successful approach, leaving them watery. In the following recipe, which goes well with any pieces of grilled fish, you could substitute courgettes if your local supermarket tells you that chayote exists only in the holiday imagination of your dreams.


  • 675 g/ lb chayote
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 30 g/ 1 oz butter
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of chopped flat-leaved parsley


Peel, deseed and slice the chayote and thinly slice the garlic cloves.

Put the oil and butter in a large frying pan and melt the butter over a low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 3 minutes, but do not allow to brown except slightly round the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Add the chayote to the pan, turn up the heat to moderate and sauté for 4–5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and the reserved garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add a handful of chopped flat-leaved parsley, toss and serve.