While waiting in line at the farmers market, I overheard several people pointing at and commenting on a strange looking vegetable they had never seen before. What is it? How do you cook it?
Kohlrabi, if you are unfamiliar, is a vegetable in the Brassica family along with cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower- and just as nutrient dense. They can be eaten cooked or raw. The word Kohrabi is German and translates to “cabbage turnip”. And that’s exactly how I would describe its flavor. Kind of cabbage-y and kind of turnip-y, with a hint of sweetness and peppery bite. They are fairly common in German speaking countries, and recently have been showing up in our local markets.
I love kohlrabi in its raw state, for its flavor, delicious crunch and amazing health benefits.
This simple kohlrabi salad recipe with cilantro and lime zest – is dressed with a refreshing Citrus Vinaigrette made with fresh orange juice. It’s vegan and gluten free, and suprisingly filling, while remaining low in calories.
Kohlrabi can be found locally at the Spokane Farmers Market, located on 5th and Brown in downtown Spokane on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Several growers offered them last week and said they should continue to harvest them though out the summer.
Kohlrabi greens are also edible can be treated like collard greens or kale.
Kohlrabi ranges in color from pale green to white to deep purple.
Kohlrabi has very thick skin and peeling it can be challenging. Make sure you have a sharp peeler and plan on peeling it twice. Once its peeled, the rest is very easy. The insides are crisp and juicy like an apple or jicima.
If you are uncertain about Kohlrabi and are hesitant to commit to a whole salad made entirely of kohlrabi, you could try substituting part of the kohlrabi in the recipe with shredded cabbage, jicima, apple, sliced cucumber or sliced fennel.
Slice Kohlrabi in to 1/4 inch thick match sticks. You could also grate in a food processor.
Another fun way to try Kohlrabi is to make Kohlrabi home fries. Coat with rice flour and season with your favorite seasoning and fry… or try baking them. Perhaps better in the fall or winter.
Lime zest and cilantro are added to the salad.
Fresh orange juice gives the dressing its delightful and refreshing flavor.
Half a jalapeño gives a perfect little kick. One whole one, for me, was too spicy and detracted from the overall flavor.
Combine all the ingredients and toss with the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This salad also tastes good the next day, holding its crunch well.
Garnish with a little zest and cilantro before serving.
- 6 cups kohlrabi -cut into matchsticks , or grated in a food processor -about three 4 inch bulbs (or you could substitute sliced fennel, apple, jicama, cucumber, or cabbage for part of the kohlrabi for more diversity)
- ½ C chopped cilantro ( one small bunch)
- half of a jalapeno -minced
- ¼ C chopped scallion
- orange zest from one orange
- lime zest from one lime
- Citrus Honey Vinaigrette:
- ¼ C olive oil
- ¼ C fresh orange juice ( juice form one orange)
- ⅛ C lime juice plus 1 T ( juice from one large lime)
- ¼ C honey
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 T rice wine vinegar
- Trim and peel kohlrabi. ( I normally have to peel twice to get thru the thick skin). Cut off two ends. Cut in half from top to bottom. Thinly slice, rotate and slice again, making ¼ inch matchsticks.
- Place in large bowl with chopped cilantro, scallions, finly chopped jalapeño ( ½), lime zest and orange zest.
- Whisk dressing together in a small bowl. Toss with salad. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with zest and cilantro. This tastes goo the next day too.