Monday, July 11, 2011

The German Turnip: Kohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Slaw


Kohlrabi is a vegetable that’s hard to love. Often mistaken for a root vegetable, the bulbous kohlrabi is instead related to cabbage and other brassicas like Brussels sprouts. The kohlrabi pops out of the earth like a fat broccoli, which makes sense give that its flesh tastes and feels a bit like the broccoli stem. The kohlrabi will grow almost anywhere, which is why I think it’s popular among farmers for the CSA box. Then we CSA members get stuck with them alongside the more appealing lettuces and strawberries in spring.

In winter, I grate the older, larger kohlrabi into my potato pancake batter. After frying, I dollop them with avocado cream. Delicious, but it’s not my idea of a warm weather recipe. Last week, I julienned along with cabbage and apples to make a crunchy, sweet, and earthy slaw. We ate it with stewed bratwurst, but I think it would also be a good addition to the picnic table.

Kohlrabi*, Cabbage and Apple Slaw
Serves 8

1 small green cabbage, cored and grated
3 small kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
4 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon basil

Cover the cabbage with ice water in a large bowl. Soak for ½ hour. Whisk together the mayoonaise, buttermilk, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. After soaking, squeeze the cabbage dry with clean dish towels. Mix together with the kohlrabi in the dressing. Julienne a cored red apple and add to the salad. Stir in basil.

*Kohlrabi's nickname is German Turnip. I don't think it does much for it's reputation.

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