|Right Food for the Season - Late Summer|
|Written by Amanda Laskowski|
The very first week of our first CSA, as I was gathering my items in my bag, the guy who runs the stall in City Hall Plaza goes, “Oh wait, take one of these!”
I had never seen this before in my life. I looked at him blankly and asked “And just what IS that?” He told me it was kohlrabi. Again, blank stare. He told me it is a German turnip that tasted kind of like broccoli, kind of like lettuce, and kind of like apple. “Oooooookay” I said and stuffed it into my bag and went home.
I did some more searching and found that not only can you cook the kohlrabi, you can eat it raw. The first time we got it we roasted it and then sautéed the greens (very tasty). The second time we received some I decided that I would use them raw. Next time, I’d like to try pickling them.
I brainstormed different ways that I could use it, and almost immediately thought of a type of cole slaw. In keeping with the German way, I didn’t want to make it heavy by using a mayo based slaw, but instead use vinegar, as is typical in German side dishes (most notably potato salad). I used spices that reminded me of Germany (caraway, fennel, celery) and added some amazing whole grain mustard that we also received in our CSA that week.
Overall I was very happy with the way it came out. My husband commented to me that the spice mix was rather strong, so I halved it in the recipe below. I also included a note regarding using sugar in the recipe. It tasted perfectly delicious without the sugar, but I think would add a nice sweet note if added.
An experience like this is one of the reasons we signed up for a CSA. We wanted to be forced to use ingredients that we hadn’t even heard of before! We are still continually surprised about what we get in our CSA every week, and it makes coming up with recipes and meal planning even more fun. So next time you get this funny looking vegetable in your CSA or at your local farmer’s market, don’t be afraid of it!
1 cup shredded carrots (about 2-3)
1 cup shredded red cabbage (about half a head)
3-4 cups shredded kohlrabi (2-3) – either discard the leaves or steam/sauté them
½ cup white vinegar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp celery seed
½ tsp fennel seed
1 tsp caraway seed
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 tbsp light brown sugar*
In a small sauté pan, toast the celery, fennel and caraway seeds until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, red cabbage and kohlrabi and mix. (I used 2 forks) Add both vinegars to the slaw and mix, making sure everything is coated evenly.Add both mustards and mix again, coating evenly. Add spices, salt and pepper to taste and the optional sugar.
Serve immediately, or let it sit in the fridge, covered lightly with plastic wrap, for a half hour in order for the flavors to meld together.
*Note: When I first tasted the slaw I thought something was missing, but at the time could not really pinpoint what it was. Then I thought, Sugar! The above measurement is pure guesswork, but I would start with a tsp and move up to a tbsp of light brown sugar to give it a sweeter taste.