When my friend Jenise was in Hawaii she posted a pic of ‘chayote greens’ and a switch in my head clicked. Chayote is the Mexican name for choko and I have a vine growing in my back yard. Love the fruit but never knew the greens were edible so as the vine is throwing off new shoots everywhere I thought I’d give them a try and match them to sauvignon blanc wine.
Jenise wilted her greens in a wet skillet and seasoned with salt and fresh ginger. I decided to wilt the greens, toss with olive oil and lemon juice and garnish with finely grated parmesan and fennel flowers and fennel fern from the back yard with a little rocket from the garden as well.
I chose Fairhall Downs Marlborough Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 to wash then down with.
The wine was an absolute hit. Light to moderate gold in the glass with a vibrant and pungent aroma offering up a medley of salad greens with hints of capsicum and lime – quite different from what I expected when ravishing passionfruit and pineapple scents escaped from the bottle after the screwcap was discarded. There’s an abundance of those tropical fruit notes in the palate however, with the powerfulness kept in check by exhilarating herb and citrus vibes. A fuller style with palate weight and complexity, I thought it mouthfilling and delicious and an amazing match to the food. Best bite was the rocket and fennel wrapped inside a chayote leaf – the younger the leaf the better. An interesting experiment and while it was fun to try, the best bits for me were the peppery rocket and the anisey fennel. So I’m not sure I’ll cook the choko greens again.
Fairhall Downs Single Vineyard Sauvignon is NZ$23.95, there’s a smidgen of residual sugar to balance the acidity and alcohol clocks in at 13%. Find out more from fairhalldowns.co.nz.