Guest Post: Marnely’s Summer Chayote Salad

I have a Food, Je t’Aimée first for you today! Despite having written a few guest posts on other people’s blogs in the past, never have I ever had a guest poster of my own. You’ve read about her here countless times, but my amazingly talented, busy as heck, wonderfully supportive food-blogger-friend Marnely (referred to on my blog as Nelly!) of Cooking with Books has a fresh, unique, and healthy summer recipe to share with you today.

Nelly is a CIA-trained baker and is making her way in the food world with her fabulous blog, beautiful food photography, exciting giveaways, and knowledgeable product tests. She even writes for Marcus Samuelsson; no big deal! I have affectionately dubbed her “Blogger Santa,” given how she seems to be everywhere and anywhere in the blink of an eye, along with her sack of awesome advice. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve sent her panicky emails about something I was baking, or just needed an opinion on a blog or product decision, and within minutes, no matter what the time of day, there she is in my inbox with a comforting and helpful response.

For these reasons, it is just so fitting and such a pleasure that Nelly is my first guest poster. She has been an absolute treasure and invaluable resource to me over the past year! I can’t wait to meet someday over coffee (with whole milk, of course, and none of this #fatfreemilkwater) and a bacon-infused sweet. Oh, yes.


Hello, Food, Je t’Aimée readers! I’m Marnely, author of the food blog Cooking with Books, and oh am I excited to be sharing this summer recipe with Aimée’s readers. This recipe is unlike any other summer salad in your repertoire, as it is made with Chayote, a squash variety that originated in Mexico and is now exported all over the world.
Guest Post: Marnely's Summer Chayote Salad

Chayote can be eaten both raw in salads or quickly sautéed in butter and spices for a hot side dish. There is no need to peel it, but I prefer to do so and when in raw preparations, peeling ribbons of the chayote is the most delicate way to go. Try it raw in salsa as well for added crunch! As for hot preparations, chayote can be boiled, mashed, pureed, sautéed, fried, pickled, and stuffed; the possibilities are endless! What does it taste like? It’s a neutral flavor, a bit bland but a great canvas to make other ingredients shine.

Rich in Vitamin C and Amino acids, Chayote is a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals and since it’s easily prepared, it’s a great addition to your summer outdoor menus for barbeques and dinner parties, as well as quick lunches. This salad focuses on great quality rice vinegar and sesame oil, but you can also substitute for your favorite oil and vinegar combinations. Make this an Italian salad by combining balsamic vinegar and basil oil; make it Latin American by using Chipotle Oil and Apple Vinegar…Be Creative!

Guest Post: Marnely's Summer Chayote Salad

Summer Chayote Salad

1 medium sized chayote

3 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

Black sesame seeds (optional)

            1. Using a peeler, peel the outer skin off of the chayote. It’s a bit tacky to the touch, but run it under cold water to remove this.

         2. With the same peeler, keep peeling ribbons of the chayote into a bowl. Go around the chayote and on the sides, getting as much flesh as possible until you reach the core. Reserve in a bowl.

         3. To make dressing, slightly toast the sesame seeds in a sauté pan and toss in a jar with rice vinegar, sesame oil, and salt and pepper. Shake until emulsified.

            4.  Toss chayote ribbons with dressing and top with extra sesame seeds. For more contrast in color, top with black sesame seeds.

Hope you get to make this salad during the summer season, and be sure to follow me onTwitter and Facebook for more recipe updates as well as giveaways! 


Thanks, lovely Nelly! Such a pleasure to have you post over here today. Mi blog es su blog, yeah? 

So: Tired of the same old salads at your BBQ? I think this recipe will definitely shake things up, impress your friends, and balance out all those BBQ calories. You know the ones. But where can you find Chayote Squash around Halifax? I made a few calls they’re more readily available than I realized: Both Pete’s Frootique locations (Dresden Row and Bedford Highway) regularly stock them, as well as the Barrington Street Superstore. I’m sure there are other locations, as well.

Enjoy! And be sure to visit Nelly over at Cooking with Books!




purple bouquet

purple bouquet