This Kohlrabi Apple Salad recipe was ignited by my French friend Magali who continues to inspire me. It’s based on a salad she makes often. Though, her version uses jicama and baby spinach. I’ve searched everywhere in Hamburg for jicama (pronounced hee-cama) — not a chance. Whether the farmers markets or specialty food markets, I have yet to stumble across this delicious tuber.
Okay, let it be known, jicama originates from the Mexican peninsula. A long way away. They are also grown in the warm climates of Central America, the Caribbean, and Southern Asia. Also a long way away. Which is why they haven’t quite made their way to Germany. Probably a good thing. I can feel guilt-free about my jicama carbon footprint.
In Spanish, the word “jicama” refers to any edible root and the name is used to dub this “Mexican yam bean”. Juicy, sweet, a little nutty, jicama has the texture of a turnip and taste of an apple… or in the vegetable world, kohlrabi.
So since it’s not likely that I will experience Magali’s jicama spinach salad any time soon, I made my own version using kohlrabi. I love kohlrabi in its natural raw state — it has an amazingly fresh flavor and delicious crunch.
I also subbed out the spinach for Chinese cabbage (also called Napa cabbage). It’s a crispy and crunchy Asian vegetable with a delicate and mild taste. Perfect for salads. Related to Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and broccoli, it packed with antioxidants, is incredibly low in calories and has a strong nutritional profile. Great reasons to find ways to incorporate it into our diet.
So here’s a super simple and quick kohlrabi apple salad that is delicious and unique. You’ll love it! Of course, feel free to skip the prosciutto if you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Enjoy!
TIP: For quick julienning (matchsticks) use a mandoline slicer. It really speeds things up, but take care and use the hand guard, these things are razor sharp!
For the salad:
10-12 slices of Prosciutto di Parma (150 g)
1 small head Chinese cabbage, shredded
2 small kohlrabi, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 apples, cored and chopped (*choose a crunchy sweet-tart variety)
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
*NOTE: When choosing an apple for this kohlrabi apple salad, sweet-tart apples like Gala or Braeburn are a good choice. Gala apples have a very well rounded apple taste — they are crispy, juicy, and have a sweet slightly tart flavor. Braeburn has a bold flavor but is not quite as sweet as Gala — overall I think it has a nice blend of sweetness and tartness. I often use these in salads.
1. Sauté the prosciutto in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to crisp at edges, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard, garlic, chives, salt and pepper until emulsified.
3. In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, kohlrabi, apples, and prosciutto. Toss with the dressing and serve. Enjoy!