Tag Archives: Passionate Vegetarian

International Carrot Day

Carrot Song

carrot foot

If you’re going to put your foot in your mouth…..

vangogh2carrots

Vincent Van Gogh

Now it just so happens that I like my carrots in sticks to pick up dip – or hummus if I want to appear virtuous or in soups or in cakes but almost never boiled and served as a side and never never frozen and unless maybe they’re for a cake….carrot cake with cream cheese frosting…mmmmm…..and there’s a carrot upside  down cake I’d like to try, perhaps in a savory version…..

And salads – I really like a carrot salad, because they can usually be made ahead and travel well and still taste good, if not better.

And because of my recent moves and the power of the  Internet it seems as if several of my go-to carrot salads of the past 20 years are more or less versions of the same carrot salad.

Which just proves that good is good.

It was a page from Vegetarian Times from February of 2004 that led me to the website that helped put 2 +2+ 2 more carrots altogether….

VegetarianTimesMagazineCover

This is NOT the correct cover for this story…but it is the official sample cover on the Wikipedia site

SOOO – Paula Wolfert in C0uscous and  Other Good Foods from Morocco (published back in 1973) had a several carrot salads : a spiced, a sweet and a grated.

PWcouscous and other good foods

out and about since 1973

and then the story in Vegetarian Times in 2004 in which  Crescent Dragonwagon mentions that the Moroccan Carrot Salad in The Passionate Vegetarian is a version from  the Paula Wolfert… and here I’ve been toggling between each of them, Lo these many years….here’s link to the CD (CD for Crescent Dragonwood) version of

Moroccan Carrot Salad  

CDPassionateVeg

I just LOVE this cover -click Deep Feast, to link with Crescent Dragonwagon’s website

And thus we celebrate yet another International Carrot Day…

carrotwinter1wolfaerts

This is Winter who should be gone by now….see you later Winter, much, MUCH later, bye-bye!

carrots, boy and girl

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Chayote

Chayote_BNC

Chayote

Evidently, I’ve known chayote all along…..it’s been hiding in plain sight for DECADES right under my very nose. As it were.

JG Veg book

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book

American pb edition 1981. $6.95 (that’s right – I’ve had this book since 1981 when it cost $6.95. I might have gotten it at Notes & Quotes in Kingston or else the Paperback Booksmith in Hanover)

Back cover text:

“Written with all the author’s customary warmth and erudition, here is a modern kitchen guide to the cooking of vegetables, from the well-loved cabbage and parsnip to the more exotic chayote and Chinese leaf.”

-The Times

Who’da thunk it?????

  • Chinese leaf is Chinese cabbage
  • Only a Brit could mention parsnips, cabbage and well-loved in the same sentence.
  • Chayote has its own chapter…..
  • From the glossary for the American edition in the back:
    1. CHAYOTE: choyote; christophine; mirliton, chayotte
    2. Other names: in Chinese: Buddha’s Hand Gourd
    3. Australia: chokos
    4. From the Aztec chayotl
    5. Also – choko, chaco, xuxu, christophene
      1. While were around the topic – is coyote an Aztec/Native word or European? Nahuatl coyotl .
  • Jane Grigson has a salad; a creole; a stuffed, New Orleans style; a meat stuffing; a cheese stuffing; also a chutney and a la grecque
  • Victory Garden CB
  • Marian Morash in Victory Garden Cookbook Under Squashes (Summer)
    1. “In the South you’d have good luck with chayottes (known as christophene in the Caribbean and vegetable pear or mirliton in the South). Substitute this bland tropical squash with all summers squash.” p. 270
  • Joy75
  • Joy of Cooking  (2006)(but I owned another earlier edition previous to this one)
    1. A tropical summer squash aka christophene & mirliton.
    2. “The harder the squash the better the flavor.”
    3. “ …unless you plan to stuff it, peel with a vegetable peeler working under running water to prevent being irritated by the sticky substance just under the skin, which disappears in cooking.”
    4. Boiled; Louisiana Style (stuffed with shrimps, ham, red bell pepper, hot pepper…
  • CD pasion veg
  • Crescent Dragonwagon  in Passionate Vegetarian  has them under Mirlitons a/k/a/chayote
    1. Stuffed Creole style

Sooooo….

I went the salad route

Chayote Salad

a la Jane Grigson

  1. Boiled 2 whole chayote  in salted water until fork tender, about 25 minutes.

  2. In the meantime, made a dressing of 3 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard and 3 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and a good amount of chopped parsley. Jane also recommends chervil , but I was right out…..

  3. Drain and peeled chayote under running water.

  4. Cut one in half, right through the seed….cut each half into 4 pieces and tossed into the dressing while they were still warm.

  5. I hard-boiled 2 eggs, because I decided on a more substantial lunch salad, versus side salad.

  6. Peeled and put the hot hard boiled eggs on my plate, topped with several pieces of the chayote, shared the dressing and ate with hot buttered toast.

adapted from Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book,pp. 198-9.

Notes:

I had 2 chayote and they were not from the same places…but they were in the same bin together…one was from Costa Rica – smoother, more pear shaped; the other, more ridges, was from Mexico.

chayoteCR

The Costa Rican chayote. Easier to peel, more texture then taste.

Chayotes

The ridge one was from Mexico – harder to peel, has a very faint, almost evocative taste of asparagus though

Antoine_Raspal_(1738-1811),_Intérieur_de_cuisine_,_vers_1776-80

Cuisine Provencale by Antoine Raspal in Musee Reattu, Arles

This image wraps around as the cover of the Jane Grigson Vegetable Book.

and a little more on chayote confusion: from wiki:

Chayote[1] (Sechium edule) is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash.

Globally it is known by many names including christophene or christophine,[1] cho-cho,[1] cidra (Antioquia, Caldas, Quindio and Risaralda regions of Colombia),

sayóte (Filipino languages),

guatila (Boyacá and Valle del Cauca regions of Colombia),

centinarja (Malta),

sousou or chou-chou (chow-chow) (Mauritian Creole),

chuchu (Brazil),

pimpinela (Madeira),

pipinola (Hawaii),

tayota (Dominican Republic),

mirliton (Haitian Creole),

pear squash, vegetable pear,[1] chouchoute, choko, güisquil (Guatemala, El Salvador[2]),

pataste (Honduras),

piskot or sikot (Meghalaya),

is-kus (Nagaland),

dashkush (Manipur),

iskut (Mizoram),

is-Kush (Nepal) [3]

su su (Vietnam).

Its tuberous and edible root is called chinchayote or chayotextle in Mexico and ichintal in Guatemala.

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