This crunchy miso kohlrabi apple salad tossed in a Japanese inspired miso dressing is the perfect way to introduce Germany’s darling to your table – although this gnarly looking vegetable may look a little “alien”, don’t let it’s looks deceive you — it’s actually super tasty. I absolutely love it raw in salads or on its own cut up like carrot sticks, and surprisingly, if you add it to soups or steam it, it completely transforms itself into yet another class of flavor.
Flavor and texture-wise, raw kohlrabi has an apple-like crunch, which slightly resembles a radish in texture and has a similar taste to broccoli stem, but much juicier and sweeter – and not sure if you’ll detect it but I think there is little hint of a summer turnip in the mix too. You can find kohlrabi in either in green or purple. Purple may be more beautiful, but the color makes no difference at all – both varieties have a pale greenish white flesh and taste the same.
Can you eat the kohlrabi greens?
Yes! When the plant is young and the leaves are fresh you can take the leaves and cook them much in the way you would spinach, collard greens or other leafy greens. They are great in stir-fries, steamed or simply sautéed with a little olive oil and garlic. You can even eat the smaller leaves, chopped and tossed in a salad — or do as I do, toss them in your morning smoothie.
Kohlrabi packs a decent amount of fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system — plus it has a high nutrient-to-calorie ratio. This is important since the higher the nutrients per calorie, the healthier the food, making it extra great for anyone concerned with watching their weight. Getting the nutrients you need in the first place helps counteract any potential cravings caused from your body continuing to search for the nutrition that it’s missing.
Mandoline-style slicers make quick work of julienning
For this recipe, the mandoline is going to be your best friend! It really speeds things up. This year I invested in a “fancy” mandoline – one of those ones that can also julienne – you know… it can slice everything into matchsticks. Love it! But trust me when I say, please use the hand grip/guard because these things are RAZOR sharp and as confident as you may be, fingers do slip!
For the salad:
1 kohlrabi, peeled and julienned (cut into matchsticks)
1 tart apple (eg Braeburn or Granny Smith), thinly sliced, core discarded
handful baby spinach leaves
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1 tablespoon white miso paste (shiro)
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
toasted sesame seeds
chili flakes (optional)
1. Mix the kohlrabi, apple, and spinach together in a large serving bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and lightly toss until coated. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Sprinkle with chili flakes, if using.
NOTE: If the kohlrabi is really young and small in size, then use two for this miso kohlrabi apple salad. Small ones are actually the best since they have more flavor and a thin skin which, when fresh and organic, can also be eaten.