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Salad with Chayote and Pumpkin
From The Brazilian Table, by Yara Castro Roberts

Ingredients:

2 chayotes, peeled and pitted
1 pound peeled and seeded pumpkin
4 cups water
Juice of 1 orange
8 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound filet mignon
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped scallions
3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

1 Cut the chayotes in half, lengthwise. Reserve.

2 Cut the pumpkin into 4 pieces lengthwise. Reserve.

3 In a medium-size saucepan, bring water to a boil with salt and blanch one chayote for 4 minutes. Remove chayote from the pan and place in a bowl with ice water. Do the same thing with the remaining chayote.

4 Drain the cold chayotes and reserve.

5 In the same saucepan, cook the pumpkin for 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl with ice water.

6 Using a mandolin, cut the chayote in julienne. (If you don't have a mandolin you can cut the vegetables by using the large side of a grater to cut into slices. Then pile the slices and cut in fine julienne.) Do the same with the pumpkin.

7 Sprinkle the chayote and the pumpkin with orange juice and salt. Set aside.

8 In a heavy skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Pan-sear the meat on all sides, creating a nice crust. The meat should be medium rare. Sprinkle with the coarse salt and vinegar and reserve. When the meat has cooled, cut in fine strips and reserve. In a large bowl, toss the chayote and the pumpkin with the olive oil.

9 Take a large round plate and make a pile in the center with the vegetables. Distribute the meat around it and garnish with scallions.

Yield: Serves 6

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