The chayote is not a favorite vegetable of mine. It's a squash, like zucchini and has many of the same faults and virtues. One thing is that I have used it in place of zucchini in recipes with a lot of success, and I can't resist a bargain and chayote often is just that. The chayote also goes by the name green bottle gourd (East Indian) , vegetable pear, and merliton.
I don't think of it as an exotic veggie, we had it in the supermarket NOB, but while reading Indian cookbooks (yeah, I am the sort of geck who reads cook books for fun, I also read encyclopedias, well used to, I don't have one here), I got the impression that they haven't always been so common. I bought chayote because they were $5.90 a kilo. I made cream of chayote soup for lunch today using the non-dairy cream of vegetable soup recipe with the addition of half a cup of white rice like billie suggested in the comments.
Usually, you encounter the chayote diced, either steamed or boiled, served with other veggies like corn and carrots. I have had it stuffed too, just like zucchini.
I think the soup is the perfect way to use it, but I also like it in candy. I have this theory that Mexicans in common with East Indians (called Indus here) will make candy out of anything. The Mexican method is to simmer assorted squashes and fruits in sugar syrup, the Indu method is to make a halwa of them. The chayote kind is called Sime Badnekai Halwa . I like this recipe from Laxmi's Vegetarian Kitchen by Laxmi Hiremath though Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking has a similar recipe where she substitutes zuchinini because she can't find green bottle gourds.
Today along with the cream of chayote soup, we had carrot raisin salad, white rice with garlic and peas, and short ribs braised in a barbecue style tomato sauce.