If you’re not familiar with kohlrabi, it is a member of the cabbage family and both its leaves and bulbus stem are edible. In German, kohl means cabbage and rübe means turnip – and from that we get kohlrabi, there ya go. The leaves taste similar to collard/turnip greens/chard (depending on the age of your plant and other gardening concerns like soil, climate, season) and can be prepared using similar recipes. The bulb needs to be peeled, as the outside can be woody (older/larger bulbs can be more woody than smaller younger bulbs). With a mild cabbage or turnip flavor, they can be eaten raw in salads and slaws, or on a crudité platter. They are also often sautéed, battered and fried, and baked in a gratin (I’m sure among countless other ways to prepare them).
I planted some in my yard this spring (both the green and purple varieties) and they are finally ready to pick. I am picking them on the small side since they are very tender at this size, but you can let them grow much larger. So far we have enjoyed the bulb part in a salad and the leaves sautéed with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes (I did add some water to the pan so they would steam and soften).
Tonight they are on the menu again… Kohlrabi Remoulade Salad. This salad has a bunch of fun textures – the soft crunch of the kohlrabi bulb, the crisp crunch of the peppers and lettuce, the tender meatyness of the leaves, and the creamy dressing. I purposely made the dressing a little thinner than the typical remoulade in order for it to act somewhat like a dressing for the rest of the greens. This cool salad is really nice when paired up with a spicy main dish or a fish dish.
Kohlrabi Remoulade Salad
- 1 medium or 2 small kohlrabi (leaves and bulbus stem)
- 2 c of lettuce (any type)
- 1/4 c julienned/thinly sliced bell pepper
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp grainy mustard (if you have a sweet variety, use that – if not add a little honey to the mix)
- 2 tsp sour cream
- juice of 1/4-1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp fresh herbs of your preference
Pull the leaves off of the bulb part of the kohlrabi.
Since the bulb part can be fibrous, you will need to peel off the outside layer. Then slice the bulb into thin, julienne-style, strips.
Cut the peppers into similar sized pieces. Place the peppers, julienned kohlrabi bulb, and herbs in a bowl and set aside. I used Savory in my version (it is growing like wildfire in my garden), but tarragon, thyme, dill, parsley, or any other herb you favor will really do the trick.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt.
While the water is coming up to a boil, strip the kohlrabi leaves from their stems and roughly chop.
Blanch the kohlrabi greens in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes (or longer depending on how tough the leaves are). You want them to be tender, but still bright/dark green, not mushy or fadded, grey green. Immediately plunge the blanched leaves into a bowl of ice water, or run under the cold tap. Drain and wring out on a towel.
Mix the mustards, mayo, sour cream, lemon juice (add to taste – it will depend on how tart your lemon is), and honey if needed (if your grainy mustard isn’t sweet). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the mustard mixture to the bowl or peppers and kohlrabi. Stir to combine.
In a serving bowl, layer the lettuce on the bottom, then add the blanched and drained kohlrabi leaves, and finally top with the pepper/kohlrabi mixture. There should be some extra dressing – make sure it all gets added to the serving bowl, as this is needed to dress the lettuce and kohlrabi leaves below. Chill until ready to serve.