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Mostly-vegan low-fat whole foods recipes

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Crunchy Kohlrabi Salad

I had never had kohlrabi up until last summer, when I took the plunge and bought a lovely bunch of mixed purple and green bulbs from Wegmans. There is something about a vegetable that a)looks like some sort of alien spacecraft and b) is often bright purple that appeals to me. Plus, rumor had it that it tastes like broccoli stem, which I adore. Even so, they sat in the fridge for awhile, until I endeavored to trim and peel, then slice and stirfry the tasty things. Unfortunatly, the purple color does not extend below the skin, but, happily, kohlrabi does, in fact, taste like really good broccoli stem. I bought it a few more times, eating it either plain raw or stirfried with other stuff. And then I apparently forgot about it, because it was almost a year before I had it again. Sure, it made its way onto the giant, impossible list of "veggies I have to grow in my garden", but I seemed to forget it could be purchased in the meantime.

Luckily, Saturday at the farmer's market, there was a farmer selling kohlrabi bulbs, albeit huge ones (they are best when they are under 4 inches in diameter). I bought one, and, yet again, it sat around for several days, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it. Then I remembered a recipe I made for Valentines day last year, a salad involving mung sprouts, carrot, and tasty spicyness from the cookbook Vegan Planet. So, working from memory, I subbed out the mung sprouts for the kohlrabi...and it worked quite well.

Unfortunatly, I did forget to take a picture of the ginormous kohlrabi before I peeled it into submission and nakedity, but if you've never seen one, here is a picture that is not mine. The bulb I purchased was green, but purple is always better:

And the salad (sorry for the blur...)
Crunchy Kohlrabi Salad

1 large Kohlrabi bulb or 2-3 small bulbs

1 large carrot, well washed

1-2 scallions

2 jalapenos

3-4 small sprays of cilantro, yielding 1-2 tbsp minced

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 large lemon

Trim off the tough ends and any remaining leaves/branchlets of the kohlrabi. Using a paring knife or good quality vegetable peeler, peel the outer skin of the kohlrabi until the white flesh is revealed. Cut the bulb into julienne strips or other small, even-sized pieces (I recommend using a mandoline or food processor). Place in a large bowl. Should yield 5-6 cups.

Slice the carrot into thin disks and add to the bowl. Trim the scallion and cut into quarters lengthwise then mince finely. Add to the bowl.

Mince the jalapenos, leaving as much or as little of the seeds/membrane as you desire (the more you leave, the spicier it will be). Add to the bowl.

Mince the cilantro and add to the bowl.

In a small, dry pan, heat the mustard seeds and cumin seeds over medium-low heat, until they become aromatic, browning slightly and the mustard seeds begin to pop. Remove from heat and add to the salad.

Juice 1 lemon, removing the seeds and then pour the juice over the salad.

Toss the salad well to blend, then cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Make sure to re-toss the salad right before serving.

Make 4-6 servings.

Nutrition data (for 4 servings):
Calories 71.3, Total Fat 0.4 g, Sodium 54.6 mg, Potassium 823.2 mg, Total Carbohydrate 16.5 g, Dietary Fiber 8.3 g, Sugars 6.8 g, Protein 4.0 g, Vitamin A 46.0 %, Vitamin C 18.1 %, Calcium 42.2 %, Iron 2.4 %