Many New Orleans Creoles have had a lifelong love affair with mirlitons (which go by many names across the globe, including chayote squash, christophine, and the dull but descriptive vegetable pear). Distinguished by their vibrant green color and notable dimple, mirlitons have a tender, watery flesh (similar to a cucumber, to which they’re related) and a rather large, fibrous seed. Mirlitons are a fixture of holiday tables and often appear in seafood dressings. Here, we used the mirliton shell as a vehicle for a decadent seafood and cornbread dressing.
Makes 8 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 medium mirlitons*, halved
- ⅓ cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- 18 large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (about ½ pound)
- 1 cup cooked crawfish tails
- 1 cup crumbled cornbread
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over prepared pan. Place mirlitons, cut side down, on prepared pan.
- Bake until mirlitons are tender but not falling apart, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- In a medium skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and Creole seasoning; cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cook until just beginning to turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Add crawfish; cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and stir in cornbread.
- Scoop out mirliton flesh, leaving a ¼- to ½-inch-thick shell. Discard seeds, and reserve flesh for another use. Return mirliton shells, cut side up, to pan. Sprinkle shells with salt, and spoon cornbread mixture into shells. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving, if desired.
*Mirlitons are often sold as chayote squash.
It makes no sense not to in to incorporate the mirliton flesh into the cornbread dressing.
Hi Thomas! For this recipe, we simply opted not to do so, but please feel free to get crafty and work the mirliton flesh into it as you make it at home. We always enjoy hearing how out readers adapt these recipes to their personal preferences!
I thought the same thing! Maybe will have a little extra that could just be frozen for a side one day!
Thank you for the recipe. I replaced the crawfish with crabmeat and made it a skillet dressing instead of stuffing the mirlitons. Loved the cornbread in the mix. Gave it an extra taste and texture.