Partially cooked slices of chayote are marinated in a lime dressing sparked with cilantro, then served atop crisp spinach leaves.
2 small chayotes (about 6 ounces each)
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
12 leaves raw spinach
1. Cut the chayotes in half lengthwise. Your knife will easily slice through the nutlike seed. Remove the seeds and any whitish membrane, then peel. Cut each chayote half into 6 long slices (as you would an avocado). Place the slices in a wide saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, at a gentle bubble for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander set under cold running water and distribute over absorbent paper to drain.
2. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, and red pepper. Stir in the cilantro. Place the chayote slices in a large bowl. Pour on the dressing and toss gently to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
3. Just before serving, arrange 3 spinach leaves on each of 4 salad plates, then arrange 6 slices of chayote on top of the spinach leaves. Whisk the dressing that remains in the bowl and pour it over the salads.