Chayote, Pear, and Avocado Salad with Fresh Lime Dressing…..

Of all of the “UFO’s” I’ve featured on my blog, this is my favorite!  Chayote is available year round and packed with amino acids and vitamin C.  It is great to be able to add another fruit/vegetable to the rotation.  I originally thought it was a vegetable as it’s technically a squash, however vegetables that contain seeds are technically fruits.    I’ve known for years that tomatoes were considered a fruit but never gave squash a thought.  Either way, I love chayote.

Now for salad specifics.  The layers of flavors in this salad are incredibly delicious.  You’ve got the crunch of the chayote, the sweetness of the pears and strawberries, the creamy avocado, saltiness of the feta, and the richness of the toasted walnuts.  Topped with a drizzle of simple fresh lime and honey dressing adds the perfect amount of acidity to pull all of the flavors of the salad together perfectly.

Serve at your next dinner party either on individual salad plates or on a large platter for buffet style serving.  Lovely and Delicious.

Here we go:

We’ll begin with the very simple lime dressing.  Whisk the juice of one fresh lime (about 1 1/2 tablespoons), 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add 2 pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper.  Whisk to blend.  Set aside.Chayote is quite simple to work with.  I would say that it the texture resembles an unripe pear when slicing.  As you can see it has a seed.  It is edible but I removed it.

The seed is very easy to remove, simply scoop it out with a spoon.

After you halve it, slice it into thin strips flat side down.

Next we’ll be using a crisp pear. 

Slice it in half and thinly slice it around the core.

Next, avocado, my favorite salad ingredient. 

Slice the avocado in half.  Remove the pit with a spoon.  Carefully remove the flesh of the avocado from the peel with a spoon.  Slice thinly.  If you’re making the salad a few hours ahead of time, place the avocado in a bowl and drizzle lime juice over it to coat to prevent browning.  (Do this with the pears as well)

To assemble the salad, alternate layers between the chayote, the pear and avocado. 

Once the chayote, pear and avocado fill the plate.  Add the strawberries, feta, and toasted walnuts.  (There is enough salad ingredient  to make two dinner plate size salads or 6 individual salad plates)

Lastly, drizzle the salad with the lime dressing and top with a little fresh cilantro.

Chayote, Pear, and Avocado Salad with Fresh Lime Dressing

For the dressing:

1 lime, juiced or 1 1/2 tablespoons bottled
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pinches kosher salt
1 pinch black pepper

For the salad:

1 chayote, sliced in half, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 crisp pear, halved and thinly sliced around the core
1 avocado, pit removed and thinly sliced
5-6 strawberries
2 ounces crumbled feta
2 tablespoons toasted walnuts (325′ oven on cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes, watch closely)
1 small bunch cilantro for garnish

1)  Whisk all salad ingredients together to blend, set aside.
2)  Arrange sliced chayote, pear, and avocado on the serving plate.  This amount of vegetables will make two plates of salad pictured.
3)  Top with sliced strawberries, feta, and walnuts.  Whisk the dressing again and drizzle over the salad.  Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.  Serves 6.

*This recipe will make one large serving platter of salad, or two dinner size plates, or 6 individual salad plates.