Chayote Salad with Lemony Hot Sauce
- 4 preserved malagueta peppers, minced, or to taste (see Note)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- Juice of 3 lemons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 medium chayote or yellow summer squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a mortar and pestle, blender, or food processor, combine the peppers and the salt and process until the mixture is a thick paste. Gradually add the onion and garlic, and process, scraping down the sides of the container as necessary, until they are incorporated into the paste. Add the lemon juice and process again. Transfer the sauce to a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to stand for 30 minutes so that the flavors can marry.
In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chayote and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until forktender. Add the salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Arrange the slices on a platter and drizzle with the sauce.
Note: Preserved malagueta peppers are one of the hallmarks of Brazilian cooking. Extremely hot peppers are pickled in a 2:1 oil to grain alcohol ratio and allowed to rest for 1 month before using. They are available in some Latin American markets.
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