Stuffed Chayote Squash

By Julie Cader

The chayote, also known as the laplap, chowchow, mirliton, or Buddha’s hand melon, is an interesting, underused edible plant belonging to the gourd family. This recipe features the pear-shaped chayote stuffed with a California rice medley, ground beef, vegetables and Muenster cheese. Serves 8 as a side dish.

Ingredients
½ cup SunWest Organic Harvest Medley California Rice
1 cup chicken broth
4 chayotes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, diced
8 cherry tomatoes, diced
3 mushrooms, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
8 ounces ground beef
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder8 ounces Muenster cheese, shredded

Directions

Preheat over to 350° F.

Cut each chayote in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and make a well in the center core with a spoon.

Brush both sides of the chayote halves with 1tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Line a baking sheet with foil and place chayote halves face down on the tray. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn chayotes over and bake for another 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a medium-sized pot, heat chicken broth until slow boil. Add rice, cover and simmer until liquid evaporates and rice is tender, about 35-45 minutes.

In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil at medium-low heat. Add vegetables, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Add the ground beef, paprika and chili powder, stirring until meat is browned.

Add cooked rice to mixture. Stir in 6 ounces of the shredded cheese.

Stuff the chayote halves with the mixture, cover with remaining cheese and place on a greased cookie sheet. Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve halves as a side on each dish.


Julie recently retired as the Finance & Administration Manager for the California Rice Commission, and is a big proponent of trying new recipes- especially if they feature California rice.