20 July 2009
Kohlrabi, at last?
As I’ve probably mentioned before, I’ve been introduced to all sorts of new vegetables since I’ve belonged to my CSA. There are a few I try to give away to loving homes, such as beets and kale – I’ll eat them, but they’re not something I adore and we get more than I can readily use.
Kohlrabi is another one of those vegetables. My father-in-law loved to see it in the share box and would eat it raw, but I’ve never quite been at ease with this alien-looking knobby thing.
Until now – I found something that I like, and it was fairly simple to make. I stumbled across this recipe last week, and decided to get some fennel so I could try it. Sadly, we don’t get fennel in our box (or haven’t yet this year, maybe it’s still to come), but another vendor at the Farmer’s Market sells it so I was set. I didn’t have capers and didn’t take the time to hunt down reasonable substitutes, so my version of the salad is below.
Fennel and Kohlrabi Salad
1 small kohlrabi
1/2 a medium (?) fennel bulb
Large handful arugula, chopped
1 clove garlic (or more to taste)
The juice of 1/2 large lemon + more for crisping the fennel
The same amount of extra virgin olive oil (as lemon juice)
1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard
Slice the fennel as thinly as you can and add to a bowl of cold water and a dash of lemon juice (I used the jarred stuff for this step!). Peel the kohlrabi. Pare strips off with a vegetable peeler (this is to get wafer thin slices). Add to the bowl with the fennel.
Make the dressing: Crush the garlic with a generous pinch of sea salt in a mortar and pestle. Add some black pepper and a heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard. Stir together. Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk.
Drain the lemon juice off the fennel & kohlrabi mixture. Put the arugula in a bowl, add the fennel and kohlrabi, then toss it with the dressing.
I peeled the kohlrabi rather sparingly with a paring knife, then started paring off slices with a vegetable peeler as recommended. I discovered as I went that the center of the root is sweeter and more tender, so next time I will remove a deeper layer before scraping the curls for the salad.