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Chayote squash sounds like an exotic name but it is grown locally and widely available in the Mediterranean countries.
This soup is best served cold. When eating the sweetness of the mussel will be balanced by the acidity of the Cime di Rapa, all softly bounded by the Chayote mousse.
The chayote squash, also called Chocho in the Caribbean Island, might look unusual but you should not be intimidated.
It is just a variety of courgette and you can cook it the same way.
Cime di Rapa node, also called Rapini commonly marketed in the United States as broccoli raab/rabe.
They look like little broccoli but have a bitter taste.
They can be replaced by Cavolo Nero.
Chayote Squash Mousse with Mussels and Cime di Rapa
- 3 chayotes
- 1 lb mussels
- 1 clove of garlic
- 10 cime di rapa node
- 1 small fish to make the fumet: here I use gurnards
- 2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup cherry Tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp tomato concentrate
- salt and pepper
- Put the gurnard in a small roasting pan with salt and pepper.
- Add 1 cup of white wine and 4 cherry tomatoes cut into pieces.
- Put the fish in a hot oven at 180 C for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, stir fry a small onion and 3 chopped cherry tomatoes in a large pan to make the fish stock.
- Once the gurnard is done transfer it in the stock pan and add 1 spoon of concentrated tomato sauce.
- To keep all the flavors of the roasting fish, pour some water in the roasting pan to deglaze it.
- Pour the water over the fish and add ½ cup of white wine.
- Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime peel the Chayotes and cut them in small cubes.
- Boil the chayote with 1 tsp of salt for 20 minutes.
- Once the Chayote is cooked, drain it and transfer it in a bowl to cool completely.
- Clean and boil the Cime di Rapa for 10 minutes in a separate pan with a tsp of salt.
- When done, drain them and put them in iced water to preserve their nice green colour.
- If you cannot find the Cime di Rapayou can replace them with Cavolo Nero
- Strain the fumet with a paper cloth and let it cool off completely.
- In a frying pan, stir fry 1 sliced clove of garlic.
- Put in the mussels and stir fry covered until they are all open.
- When they are ready, remove the mussel but keep the water.
- Strain the water through a paper cloth and let it rest so that any residual of sand will fall at the bottom.
- The water from the mussels is naturally salted and will be used instead of salt to season the Chayote mousse.
- Clean the mussels and put them aside.
- Now mix the fish fumet, the water from the mussels and the Chayote to make the mousse. It is important to mix the right quantity to balance taste and consistency.
- To start add ½ cup of mussels water and 1/3 of fish fumet to the Chayote and blend.
- Taste and add more fish fumet or mussels water accordingly until you reach the desired taste and texture.
- Pour the mousse in the serving bowl and add 4 mussels and 4 Cime di Rapa per plate to garnish.