Somebody once said to me that the choko should be the symbol of sustainability. When you think about it, what else can you bang in the ground - and ignore - that will reward you with such massive organic returns, so big that you struggle to give your excess away? And that’s the dilemma; it’s hard to find someone who’ll take more than a few choko off your hands, because nobody knows how to cook with them. Apart from that, the poor old choko has developed such a bad name over the years, no doubt, because many of us have endured the childhood joy of soggy boiled tasteless choko on the plate – it surely is enough to turn you off for life.
But the truth is, the choko is a hugely versatile and underutilised vegetable – and incredibly productive, particularly at this time of year when it can fill a sizeable gap in the organic garden harvest (there’s a good reason why everyone used to grow it). When you cook with choko, it takes on the flavours of the recipe, savory and sweet – it makes a great filler for winter curries and casseroles, can be used in stir-fries – and makes an excellent filling to be mixed with (or replace) fruit in sweet pies and flans (remember the rumours around the tin pear)
I put the challenge to my Fab Foodie Buddy Julie Ray from garden2kitchen to come up with a couple of seasonal organic harvest recipe ideas for Mother’s Day – something for breakfast and afternoon tea. Here’s what Julie prepared live on air during ABC’s Good Gardening program - the spicy Mamasita Eggs with Choko Salsa and the sweet and yummy Choko Maple Tarte Tartin - delicious!
If you have some good choko recipe ideas, please share them in the comments section below.
First published: May 2011