Stuffed Centinarja [Chayote] with Fresh Maltese Gbejna

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Chayote [Centinarja] stuffed with fresh Maltese Gbejna.  Photography CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

‘Chayote is versatile because of its delicate flavour and juicy flesh which makes it an ideal vegetable to add to almost any dish. It looks like a lighter coloured avocado pear without the creamy texture.   Abundant in the market at this time of the year, it is cultivated locally and is one of my favourite winter vegetables.

For the Chayote filled with Maltese Gbejna, you will need:

2 chayotes
 1/2 an onion
 a clove of garlic
 a stock pot and enough water to immerse them

100g ricotta
 100g fresh gbejna
 100g grated hard white cheese (I used parmegian]
 grated zest of lemon
 2 eggs
 1 teaspoon chopped fresh herbs and some fresh parsley [I used a mix of fresh thyme and marjoram]
 1/4 teaspoon dried herbs [I used marjoram]
 2 tablespoons oats
 Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
 1/2 teaspoon olive oil or use pure olive oil spray
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Scoop out some of the flesh from the poached chayote and keep aside to add to a vegetable soup.  The skin and seeds are edible.This dish is

Method
Preheat oven to 180 C.

Place the chayote halves in a sauce pan filled with water.  Add a stock pot, a bay leaf, half an onion and a garlic clove.   Bring to boil, and leave to simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

Drain the water and allow the chayote to cool down so that you can scoop out some of the flesh in the centre. [Use this to make a vegetable soup and I also like to add it to potatoes to make mash.]

Place the chayote halves on an oven dish covered with baking paper prepared with garlic cooking spray. Place the scooped out chayote halves on top. If they are wobbly cut a small sliver from the bottom to steady them.

Place the fresh gbejna, ricotta, oats, half the hard cheese, the beaten eggs and fresh herbs, parsley lemon zest, and dried oregano. Add salt and pepper if desired. Mix together and use a hand blender to bring to a smooth consistency.

Use a piping bag or teaspoon to fill the chayote halves.

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Out of the oven and ready to serve, the stuffed chayote can be refridgerated and served cold with a salad the day after

Sprinkle the rest of the grated parmegian cheese on top and bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes until the tops turn to a light golden colour.

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Just before serving them I spray then with some Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil


This dish is *Vegetarian *Gluten Free *Diabetic friendly
For a lactose free recipe use a plant-based yoghurt and lactose free cottage cheese instead of ricotta and gbejna
For a vegan recipe use a plant-based yoghurt and tofu instead of ricotta and gbejna  and Orgran Egg Replacer


Trade Enquiries:
Oxo Stock Pots by Premier Foods at George Borg Ltd
Filippo Berio Olive Oil Spray, Fry Light Garlic Spray, Mornflake Oats by Rimus Group
Dried Herbs and spices, plant-based yoghurts, Orgran Egg Replacer by Good Earth
Fresh Vegetables from Big Fresh [Mosta], Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola, Barbuto [Organic]
Eggs, fresh gbejna by Big Fresh Mosta
Christmas accessories by The Christmas Shop