This is a creative recipe from Farm Chef Alison. The poor, misunderstood kohlrabi – a crunchy, flavorful vegetable especially while young, but too few know what to do with the odd-shaped bulbs so people tend to ignore it. We slice raw kohlrabi in place of crackers and top it with sharp cheddar cheese for a summer appetizer, and it’s also great in salads. This recipe uses kohlrabi raw in a zingy summer slaw. Note that it takes two days to prepare this, so plan ahead! If you can’t find kohlrabi, young turnip works just as well.
- 1 small kohlrabi bulb
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 1 bunch kale cut into 1/4-in strips (about 8 cups chopped)
- 2 T lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/2 t lemon zest from organic lemons
- 1–2 t horseradish freshly grated (optional)
- 2 T + addl for sautéing olive oil
- to taste salt
- to taste pepper freshly ground
- 2 cloves garlic (or green garlic) minced
- 3 T stock
- 1 T mustard whole grain
- 2 t red wine vinegar
Slice raw kohlrabi and fennel into very fine strips. Use more of one or the other if you like it better, just wind up with 1½–2 cups total. Whisk freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl with optional horseradish and then toss with fennel/kohlrabi. Marinate overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.
The next day, wash and dry the kale and cut into ¼-inch strips. Drop in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute in salted water, then shock in ice water (or run under a cold faucet) to stop the cooking. Drain and squeeze the extra water from the kale (if necessary, you can spread it on a baking tray and dry in a low oven until dry and papery).
Heat oil in a sauté pan and add blanched kale, tossing in the minced garlic at the end so it doesn’t burn. Mix mustard, red wine vinegar, and stock and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
To make the slaw, remove the kohlrabi/fennel from marinate and combine in a bowl with the warm kale and mustard vinaigrette. Adjust seasonings, adding more of the marinate, salt, or pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts, fennel fronds, or lemon salt, which you can make by drying lemon zest on a plate overnight in the freezer and then grinding with sea salt in a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle.
Photo by Ted Major