If you are a fan of Thai food you may have had green papaya salad. I discovered it a number of years ago in a restaurant in La Jolla, California.
I don't have any idea where to get green papaya here in DC yet. I'm sure there's a place. But I was hungry for this salad.
Then it dawned on me. Why not use chayote squash. Easy to find. Easy to prepare. The end result, Peter and I agreed, was virtually identical to what you get with green papaya.
I bought two of them, peeled them (you can't get into some of the interstices very well, but these things don't absolutely need to be peeled at all). Use you mandoline to julienne then. My recipe called for one and a half pounds of it. I had just over a pound. No problem, just adjust everything else a bit.
Mix together in a bowl: 2 Tbs vegetable oil, 2 Tbs fish sauce, juice of a lime, lime zest, red pepper flakes to taste, black pepper, 2 large cloves garlic which have been pressed or minced fine, and 1/4 cup chopped tomato. Before you do anything else, whisk this all together and taste it. Make adjustments as you see fit. Toss the chayote squash in this dressing. Let it sit in the fridge for one hour. There will be a lot of moisture exuded. Don't throw it away. You can make another batch with what's left.