Chayote Squash Mole Verde

Mole verde bursts with herbal freshness, yet it’s still robust and warming – ideal for chilly spring days.

Chayote Squash Mole Verde

I can’t think of a better way to use chayote than in mole verde. Mole verde bursts with herbal freshness, yet it’s still robust and warming – ideal for chilly spring days.

Serves | 4 to 6 |

  • 1 cup raw unsalted pepitas
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 12 oz tomatillos, husked, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 large Swiss chard leaves, torn, thick stems removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3½ cups unsalted chicken stock, divided
  • 2½ lbs chayote squash (3 to 4 squash), peeled, quartered and sliced in ½-inch pieces
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen corn (thawed if frozen)
  • 8 to 12 8-inch flour or corn tortillas
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked white or brown rice, to serve
  • 1½ cups cooked black beans, to serve
  • 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled

| Preparation | In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast pepitas until golden, 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to a fine powder; set aside. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add next 9 ingredients and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is fragrant and softened. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a blender along with pulverized pepitas and 1 cup stock; blend on high until very smooth. Transfer back into Dutch oven, add remaining stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes until mole has reduced and thickened slightly. Add squash and simmer 10 to 15 minutes until fork-tender.

While squash simmers, heat remaining oil in a small skillet over high heat; add corn and cook until charred, stirring frequently, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

| To Serve | Heat tortillas for serving. Serve rice, beans, tortillas and chayote with mole sauce family-style on a large lipped platter. Garnish chayote with charred corn, scallions and queso fresco; serve immediately.

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Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

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