Mirliton (pronounced mella-ton) is a squash native to Mexico.  In Mexico, they are called chayote squash in southern Louisiana; they are called mirlitons and alligator pears. Mirliton grew in all the swamps; the alligators would grab them off the trees and eat them; thus, the name alligator pears.  Mirlitons taste like a cross between a cucumber and an artichoke heart.  My Grandma frequently prepared mirliton stuffed with shrimp and sausage, or fried and in a salad. Mirliton grew freely in her back yard, which made them a go-to staple for a lot of dishes.

Mirliton Salad

First things first, let’s make the vinaigrette: In a bowl dump 1/4 cup jalapeno jelly, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 4 tablespoons Udo oil. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

Salad:  3 mirlitons, peeled seed removed, and julienned, 1 small jalapeno pepper finely chopped, 1 (4 oz.) can roasted red bell pepper drained, 3 green onions, sliced, 1 1/2  cup spring salad greens, 1/2 cup baby arugula, 1/4 cup fresh chopped dill sprigs, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 fresh chopped rosemary sprig. Toss it all together, pour the vinaigrette over the salad, mix well.

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