Kohlrabi – Huh? My picky eater surprised me the other day. Will’s vegetarian school buddy had given him a taste of this odd veggie and it turned out to be a hit! I had to look it up.
Kohlrabi has a bulb about the size of an apple. It tastes a bit like cabbage heart or broccoli stem, but juicier. It makes a nice crunch served raw in salads. Roasting brings out its deeper brassica flavor. Don’t toss those leaves – use them in salads or stir fries like you do kale or spring greens. Kohlrabi is in season now in Canada and through the winter months.
Surprise! Kohlrabi packs more vitamin C than oranges. This powerful antioxidant is vital for healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gums. It boosts immunity to protect you against disease. And like other brassicas, kohlrabi’s health-promoting phytochemicals help keep cancer at bay. They also help reduce inflammation from too much sugar or alcohol, which could raise your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and other chronic problems.
How good is it, really?
I bought some to experiment with and was much impressed. Turns out it’s sweet (go figure!).
With the help of my mandolin, I whipped up a kohlrabi salad as the third course of my gourmet dinner, Frozen in Ottawa… although I renamed it for that occasion, “Iceberg salad.” The name refers to a leaf of iceberg lettuce on which the crunchy salad lounges.
Try kohlrabi. If our picky Will likes it, you might too :).
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil (or olive or almond oil)
- 1/3 teaspoon hot Spanish smoked paprika (optional)
- Coarse salt
- a few drops of stevia extract, to taste
The kohlrabi salad
- 1 large kohlrabi, trimmed, peeled, then shaved with a mandolin
- 1 watermelon radish (streaked dark red inside and thus full of antioxidants!), peeled, then shaved with a mandolin – optional
- 1 carrot, cut in curls with a carrot peeler
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, then shaved with the mandolin
- 1 red apple, cored, then shaved with a mandolin
- 1 ounce toasted sliced almonds or candied pecans (1/4 cup)
- a few dried cranberries, just because Will likes these too (optional)
- iceberg lettuce leaves, on which to present the salad
- balsamic glaze to garnish
Tips: You can make this salad without a mandolin. But if you do have one, it will make the salad prep a joy. Make sure you use the finger guard though. This salad is not pretty with bits of fingernail (or worse) among the veggies.
The watermelon radish was a surprise. We found it among the produce at the corner grocery for the first time ever, this week. It added a sweet and crunchy but mild bite to the mix. We highly recommend it, if it turns up near you.
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- Hasenpfeffer – A rich rabbity stew from Germany.
- 15 steps to making red and green pierogis – Christmas pierogis are possible without resorting to artificial food dyes.