Mon, 3 August, 2020
A common salad made with an uncommon vegetable: crunchy, fresh tasting, flavoursome and rich in nutrients, that’s kohlrabi slaw.
What is coleslaw, actually?
Coleslaw is a cabbage salad, from the Dutch origin of combined ‘kool’ – cabbage and ‘sla’ – salad. Kohlrabi, a vegetable lesser known west of Cologne, means ‘cabbage turnip’ – or ‘turnip cabbage’ of course; from the German vegetable names ‘kohl’ and ‘rabi’.
Is it legit to say 'kohlrabi slaw'?
I started out writing meaning to criticise various ‘slaws’ as the word gets used in conjunction with fennel, beetroot, leeks, whatever. But having done the brief research above, my argument went AWOL because it’s actually perfectly appropriate to use ‘slaw’ referring to anything – it’s salad! It’s absolutely the correct word!
But even better, kohlrabi slaw is a turnip cabbage salad, so it seems to be a slaw variety very close to the original. Hurrah! My kohlrabi slaw is a legitimate child.
What is kohlrabi, actually?
Language issues aside, I wish said kohlrabi was better known in the UK: it’s easy to grow, undemanding and reasonably versatile, cook it or slaw it. New baby kohlrabi is delicious to munch on in slices or even whole; bigger specimen can be cooked just like carrots with a little butter and a lot of seasoning.
What does kohlrabi taste like?
It tastes a bit like broccoli stalk which personally I adore, and most people unaccountably discard. It tastes nothing like turnip, lest that put you off. And if you’re the type of person who nibbles at spring cabbage core, kohlrabi is your mate.
How to prepare kohlrabi?
They come in green or purple variety though taste the pretty much same. The top of the vegetable where leaves and stalks sprout is the tenderest; the bottom of the root is sometimes woody but can just be peeled there extra thickly.
Sliced thinly, it can even be used in sandwiches instead of radish. Julienned or coarsely grated it makes wonderful slaw (SLAW!). It doesn’t go soggy so needs no macerating and squeezing like cabbage does sometimes: chop up and add dressing, is all.
And is it nutritious?
It really has the potential to become a super-veg because it’s got loads of Vit C, Vit B; high fibre and antioxidants so I do hope it will soon get the attention it deserves. Go, kohlie!
kohlrabi slawServings: 2-4Time: 10 minutes
- 2 bulbs of kohlrabi
- a few French breakfast radishes
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp. crème fraiche
- 1 tbsp. horseradish cream
- 1 tbsp. mayo
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- fresh mint leaves
1. Peel the kohlrabi; thinly on top side where leaves grow and thicker on the bottom side which is more woody. Coarsely grate it or shred into julienne strips.
2. Top and tail the radishes and slice them thinly.
3. Toss the kohlrabi and radish with the salt and sugar, set on a sieve over a bowl to drain moisture and leave for about 15 minutes.
4. Stir together the crème fraiche, horseradish, mayo and lemon juice.
5. Toss the salad with the dressing, add fresh mint and taste for seasoning.