06 July 2010

Cool Kohlrabi Salad

What timing. I had no sooner brought home a pair of space alien- (doggie chew toy?) -looking kohlrabi's, puzzling over what to do with them, when the very helpful Luisa Weiss (aka, The Wednesday Chef) posted a cumin-infused, minimalist salad featuring this weird, bulbous cabbage-cum-turnip. 

This simple salad brings together relatively few ingredients, so for once in my life I actually toasted and ground my own spices, and found the result really beautifully aromatic. I ground the toasted cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle, and added all of the other dressing ingredients directly to the mortar, pouring everything over the carefully julienned kohlrabi and carrot. I made a few adjustments to the original recipe, adding in some toasted sesame seeds (I used plain old white, but I think next time I would use black for the visual of them), and in lieu of chili peppers I used a dab of chili oil to the dressing. 
I'd never eaten kohlrabi before, though our CSA newsletter tells us they can be roasted and/or eaten raw, and are native to Germany. Thus Luisa's familiarity with them. Thanks Wednesday Chef!

Cool Kohlrabi Salad, adapted from The Wednesday Chef (adapted from Fearn Smith) 

Serves 4
2 medium red or green kohlrabi bulbs
1 large carrot, peeled
1 tbsp fennel seed
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp chili oil (optional)

With a sharp knife, cut away the outer skin and any remaining poking-out stems from the kohlrabi. Julienne the kohlrabi (you will have about 4 cups), and then the carrot. Place in a medium sized bowl. 

In a dry pan toast sesame seeds till they turn golden. Toss these over the kohlrabi and carrots. 

Toast the fennel seeds in a small dry saute pan over medium heat until they begin to brown slightly and smell toasty. Transfer them to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, and grind them into a coarse powder. Add to the mortar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic and chili oil, if using. Slowly whisk in the two oils. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat. Taste for salt and pepper and serve. 

*I found the flavors were enhanced the next day, without loosing much, if any, crunch

1 comment :

  1. love this, i subbed some of the vinegar with lemon juice and caraway seed for fennel coz i didn't have fennel seed :) Yum


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