Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw
Labor day weekend we went to a friend’s house on Lake Michigan. Our host planned to grill dinner and asked everyone else to bring a side dish. I immediately knew I wanted to bring slaw using the kohlrabi from our CSA.
Kohlrabi is a very weird cousin of cabbage. It has sort of cabbage layers on the outside of the bulb but the inside is solid, like a turnip. The inside tastes like a mild turnip or radish with a hint of sweet. You can use it in stir-fry, roasted, in fritters, or pureed into soup. However, my favorite way to eat kohlrabi is raw. It’s hearty texture and mild flavor makes it perfect for slaws and salads!
In making my slaw, I was inspired by this kohlrabi and apple salad I found on Epicurious. The version on Epicurious is for a beautiful refined salad that looks suitable for a multi-course dinner. To make it more suitable for a cookout, I cut my vegetables into matchsticks and left out the nuts. I also felt it needed more lemon juice.
The mild kohlrabi is complimented by the addition of tart apple in this recipe. The dressing of lemon and white wine vinegar ties the flavors together and adds a nice zing. The slaw is topped with mint leaves and Parmesan cheese. I have to say, all of us were skeptical about adding the cheese but were very pleasantly surprised when we did. It added a nice earthiness and additional saltiness that we didn’t know we were missing until we took the leap.
The hardest part of the recipe is chopping the kohlrabi and apples. After that, it is smooth sailing! I chopped my vegetables and dressed them the night before before we headed to the cookout. The vegetables stayed crisp even though they were dressed 24 hours before eating. When it was time to eat, I topped it with the cheese. I added the mint when dressing the salad but it turned kind of limp so I would suggest waiting to add the mint until you are ready to eat if you are making it ahead of time.
The first step to preparing kohlrabi for just about any dish is to peal it. Remove the green tops, you can treat these like collard greens or kale, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the hard outer layer. Look at how less scary the kohlrabi looks once it is peeled.
Next, chop the kohlrabi into matchsticks. The bottoms of the kohlrabi are whiter and much harder than the rest, so I stopped chopping once I hit that part and discarded the hard base.
Then we chop the apple. I left the peel on the apple so that it would add color to the dish. The sticks were small enough that no one seemed to mind the peel!
Now, we make a simple dressing of lemon zest, lemon juice, and white wine vinegar. Toss the kohlrabi and apple mixture in the dressing and top with mint and cheese when ready to serve. Such an easy and refreshing salad for late summer!
Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw
Kohlrabi and apple is a classic pair for good reason. The tart apple is a nice compliment to the mild taste of the kohlrabi. This slaw served 10 people as a side dish easily. Inspired by Bon Appetit via Epicurious.
- 1 bunch of Kohlrabi
- 1 tart Apple like Pink Lady
- ½ tsp Lemon Zest chopped
- 2 tbls Lemon Juice
- 1 tbls White Wine vVnegar
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup Mint leaves chopped
- ¼ cup good Parmesan cheese
Peel the kohlrabi by slicing off the green tops, you can save these for another use, and peeling the bulbs with a vegetable peeler. Chop bulbs into matchsticks. Core and chop the apple into similarly sized matchsticks. Add both to large bowl.
Mix the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vinegar in a small bowl. I usually grate my lemons on a cheese grater to zest them, and then chop the shavings finer.
Toss the kohlrabi and apple with the dressing. Season to taste with salt.
You can do up to this point and refrigerate up to 12 hours before serving. When ready to serve, toss with mint leaves and Parmesan cheese.