Ensalada de Chayote con Aderezo de Almendras Rostizadas​

Chayote Salad with Roasted Almond Dressing

“An ancient vine bearing large, pear-shaped squash, the chayote was once enjoyed by Aztecs, Mayans, and other Indian tribes of the tropics. Delicious raw or cooked, they grow well only in warm climates” – José Santaella

Click here to purchase your own copy of José Santaella’s cookbook: Cocina Tropical: The Classic & Contemporary Flavors of Puerto Rico.


  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 chayote squash
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Serves 4


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the almonds out on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in the oven until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Peel the chayotes, cut them in half, and scoop out the center pit and fibers with a spoon. Cut the chayote flesh into 1⁄2-inch cubes. Fill a saucepan about halfway with water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the chayote and 1 tablespoon of the salt and cook for 10 minutes, or until the chayote is fork-tender. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain the chayote and immediately plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and put in a bowl.
  5. Toss the cooked chayote with the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and let stand for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to help pull additional water out of the chayote. Drain again, spread the chayote pieces on a few paper towels, and let drain for a few minutes.
  6. Transfer to a large bowl and add the oil, vinegar, cilantro, and toasted almonds. Add salt to taste, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Serve chilled.