June 11, 2008

GNARLY VEGETABLES


These kohlrabi bulbs look like freedom fighters from the Death Star.



I don’t think I’ve ever tasted one – but the local CSA is diligent about introducing us to new vegetables and techniques for preparing them. I have used their recipe for a kohlrabi salad, which was “purloined” from Deborah Madison, Queen of Vegetable Land. I found another recipe, that called for cream, butter, nutmeg and a gentle simmering to tenderize the somewhat tough kohlrabi, but I figured I should go for the raw version to see if I liked it. It was like – a combination of cabbage and turnip. Not unpleasant, good crunch, but next time, I’ll try the creamy, buttery version. The best part about this salad? Besides those wonderful Japanese Salad turnips? The vinaigrette is super excellent. It will go into the salad dressing rotation at my house. It’s really really REALLY good. So, take the vinaigrette recipe and put it somewhere….it’s an excellent slaw dressing.

This is a choice salad to accompany ribs, or some other slathered up hunk of meat.
Supposedly, you can cook up the kohlrabi tops, like chard, or turnip tops, but I'm just about topped out with the whole roughage thing. I'm thinking it's time for some sweet, sweet lovin' from the butter box.



Kohlrabi, Turnip, and Celery Salad with Mustard-Caper Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 shallots, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons crème fraiche
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons snipped chives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
3 tablespoons capers, well rinsed
2-3 trimmed and cleaned kohlrabi bulbs
3-4 trimmed and cleaned Japanese salad turnips
2-3 celery ribs and leaves
Assortment of lettuce/herbs

1. Combine vinegar, shallots, garlic, and some salt in a medium sized bowl. Let stand for about 15 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, cream fraiche. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking vigorously until mixture is thick and creamy. Set aside to mellow out.

2. Peel 2-3 kohlrabi bulbs and cut into fine julienne strips – peeling them reminds me of peeling ginger – a little tricky. Thinly slice the turnips. Peel and thinly slice celery ribs and chop leaves. Place vegetables in a bowl with a good mix of lettuces. Toss. Drizzle in vinaigrette to desired amount and toss. Or, plate salad first, then drizzle on the vinaigrette.



4 comments:

Emiline said...

I have yet to find kohlrabi, but when I do, I'll try this. The buttery version sounds even better...

Peter M said...

Lemme guess, Heather sent you some Kohlrabi from Portland...she seems to have a glut of it!

Deborah said...

I've never had kohlrabi - in fact, I don't think I've ever even seen it! I'll be keeping my eyes open now, though!

Jeff said...

I have done the cream and butter route and it is good but I am digging this raw app. I heart the magical turnip (brings back awesome memories of my grandparents garden and sneaking snacks when they were not looking) and cabbage well you have to love.

 
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