If the crop does well, we get a ton of vegetables. If, like last year, there is tomato blight, well…we get less. But most importantly, our urban neighborhood is able to support local farming and organic practices with little effort and great reward. The best part is that I’ve been introduced to vegetables I never otherwise would have considered.
One share feeds a family of four, so I split the share with my friend and fiction writer Melissa Swantkowski. Today, we welcome Melissa to the GFS family as she shares with us her creative use of one weird lookin’ vegetable.
This week at our CSA pick-up, I encountered a purple, spiky vegetable called kohlrabi. I was excited to try it, especially when the volunteer manning the vegetable handout mentioned that a lot of people use kohlrabi to make slaw. I’ve rarely met a slaw I don’t like.
I peeled off the purple skin to find white flesh that reminded me more of Asian pear (but less sweet) than turnip. Internet research revealed that the Kohlrabi is also known as the German Turnip, and is in the same family as some of my other favorite vegetables like kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, all having originated from a species of wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea).
With a little muscle, I grated my peeled kohlrabi on a cheese grater. Unfortunately this turned it into a watery mess, but undeterred, I pressed out the excess water through a strainer and soon had some pretty crunchy, refreshing, slaw-ready kohlrabi.
The delicious slaw has kept kohlrabi on my mind, and I’m ready for more. Sliced thin instead of grated, I think kohlrabi would taste pretty amazing over an arugula salad with some sliced parmigiano, olive oil, and lemon.
Kolhrabi, Radish and Pear Slaw
Total time: 15 minutes plus overnight refrigeration
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 kohlrabi, grated
- 5 radishes, sliced
- 1 small pear, diced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons apple cider, red wine, or white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Using a fine-mesh strainer, drain the excess water from the kohlrabi before tossing with the radishes, pear, oil, and vinegar. Season and refrigerate overnight, or longer.
I used a combination of 3 tablespoons apple cider, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar. I like the combination of the sweeter cider vinegar and the pear with the spicy radish,but I also like a vinegary slaw, so if you prefer less of a bite, I’d suggest cutting down on the vinegar.