Kohlrabi is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw, roasted, steamed, simmered or stirfried. It is excellent in a salad with a beautiful crunchy texture, and just as good roasted on a tray of vegetables, pickled or made into a curry. Kohlrabi and Jicama are interchangeable in many dishes – and, locally, kohlrabi is often much cheaper than Jicama.
If you are a reader of our Winter posts you know that we love to use the oven at any time of the day. It warms the kitchen, living areas and us. Plus it fills the space with the most delicious of aromas.
This is a great dish to throw into the oven on those cold days to warm the space and provide great food. Use the roasted vegetables as a side dish, or as a hot or room temperature Winter salad with a yoghurt and cumin seed dressing.
The recipe needs enough small-diced vegetables to pile into your baking dish to a depth of 5 cm, so I use a small baking dish for this one. And we are going to slow bake them for a couple of hours, so leave yourself enough time. We often make it first thing in the morning for lunch time salads.
Similar recipes include Sautéed Butternut and Spinach with Roasted Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic, Turnip and Swede Gratin, Butter Braised Turnips, Vegetables with Indian Flavours, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs, Baked Parsnips with Parmesan.
Kohlrabi is sort of surreal looking – a knobbly bulb with purple and green leaves sprouting from it. Actually a member of the cabbage family, the bulb is really a swollen stem. Kohlrabi is great eaten raw (shredded in salads), cooked, roasted or pureed. It has certainly gained in popularity recently. Here we puree it to form a creamy Wintery soup.
When you are buying kohlrabi, choose fresh looking bulbs as they have a sweet and delicate flavour. It needs good peeling, as it has a double skin. Try using a knife rather than a potato peeler.
Winter this year had cold cold nights, but there were many days that were warmish (by Winter standards), without much rain. I have a grape tomato bush that bore a few fruit till mid Winter, chillies produced fruit and eggplants still flowered. The cold nights turned the amaranth and the lemongrass the most gorgeous of colours, the grapevines too. There is always much joy in a garden.
Salads at the table go on and on, almost year round. Usually by Mid Winter we give up on salads until Spring, preferring hot dishes over room-temperature ones. But this past winter, the weather was such that we maintained our salad regime for longer than usual.
Today’s salad is one we made through the Winter – a salad using Kohlrabi, which can be thought of as a Wintery vegetable, and which is cooked for this dish. It is paired it with mint and cucumber.
Kohlrabi is protected by a thick skin, which is either purple or pale green. The outside layer is rather fibrous and unpleasant. It won’t break down after being cooked. If peeling before cooking, use a sharp knife to remove the skin, as it’s too thick for a traditional vegetable peeler. In this recipe, we cook the kohlrabi then peel it. It takes a long time to cook, so be patient.
Pomelos are around for a while if you know where to look for them. As the season progresses they get bigger and bigger! As I write, they are so huge one considers bringing a ute to bring them home in. (I exaggerate of course 🙂 🙂 ).
This lovely salad combines Pomelo (or use Ruby Grapefruit) with Kohlrabi and Red Radish, and then bathes them in a spicy tamarind dressing before dusting with crushed peanuts. Who needs a better excuse to grab a Pomelo or two?
Similar dishes include Pomelo Chaat, Three Citrus Salad with Ginger, Chilli and Crunchy Almond Salsa, Carrot and Cashew Kachumber, Kohlrabi and Cucumber Salad, Cucumber and Red Radish Salad, and Radish Salad with Coconut Milk.
This is a great Winter salad, a great accompaniment to hot Wintery dishes, and healthy as well. Winter root vegetables are julienned and dressed with a chilli vinaigrette before toasted almonds and poppy seeds are added. There is not much that is more delicious than this. You can make it at other times of the year – I do – but it is harder to find kohlrabi or jicama in Summer.
The recipe is an Ottolenghi one, from his book Plenty More. I received my first Ottolenghi book, Ottolenghi, as a gift after a visit to London, and before Yotham had made an impact in Australia. It was an eye opening book at the time, and it is a measure of the impact of Ottolenghi and his crew that we now take as normal many of the ingredients that Yotham introduced and were harder to find at the time.
In fact, today it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.
Check out our collection of Incredible Slaw recipes.
Browse all of our Salads and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.
Sometimes I prepare to post a recipe and realise that it is for an ingredient that does not feature often in our collection of recipes over 12 years of posting on this blog (including some recipes from our blog that ran from 1995 to 2006). It is a surprise to find an ingredient not covered much in all of that time.
We do use Indian-style sprouts in some recipes – that is, the type of sprouts that are only just sprouted, with small little tails. But Mung Sprouts with long tails, Chinese style, feature hardly at all! So today we begin to remedy that.
The recipe is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More and takes long Mung Sprouts and pairs them with, of all things, Umeboshi puree, edamame beans and radishes!! It really works, and is a terrific combination. This recipe is part of our project to cook more dishes from our Ottolenghi collection of books, and we are beginning with Plenty More.
The salty-sour Umeboshi puree, made from pickled plums, can be found in the Japanese section of larger supermarkets, in Japanese groceries and in health shops. If you can’t find Umeboshi puree, substitute pomegranate molasses.
Make more of the dressing, if you want: it’s so tangy and good that you’ll be tempted to douse this salad; failing that, it’ll keep in the fridge for other dishes in the days ahead.
There is celery growing in the garden, but we’re not great celery eaters. Of course, in Winter, it is an essential in all sorts of vegetable and other braises – Barley, for example – and Soups of course. It is an essential thing to have. But we are not big on celery salads, or raw sticks. Unless there is a killer dip to go with the sticks.
But our young celery brings to the kitchen the delicious celery flavour of its micro-thin stems and young, crunchy leaves. Both do go beautifully in salads and when we make a herb salad, our celery leaves and stems form a vital part. We also use it in place of flat leafed parsley. It is divine.
When I came across a recipe from Ottolenghi using Celery Leaves as an ingredient I was delighted. Moreso, as we had kohlrabi and beetroot innocently sitting in the vegetable crisper. It was meant to be. Frankly, I can’t get enough of this salad, with the beautiful crispness of the apple, beetroot and kohlrabi.
Use a mandolin to cut the beetroot, kohlrabi and apple into thin slices. This also works well if you julienne them into thin sticks (which I love). Ottolenghi suggests using Candy Beetroot for extra visual oomph – if you have them, great. If not, use your normal, run-of-the-mill beets.
I am using my purple chillies from the garden, which may be Naga Jolokia Purple Chillies (the plant does look so similar), but is more likely Purple Jalapeño. Whatever, you don’t need exotic chillies to make this work. Ottolenghi suggests urfa chilli flakes, but I say use fresh or dried chillies, whatever you have. I have also made this with Korean Chilli Flakes. Perfect.
Today it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.
Or try these Beetroot Salads: Beetroot and Mint Salad, Roasted Beetroot with Maple Dressing, Beets with a Herb Dressing, Beets with a Honey Ginger Dressing and Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Indian Spices.
Still want more? Check all Ottolenghi dishes, all Kohlrabi recipes and all Beetroot Recipes. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. We have so many delicious Salads worth exploring. Or make a cuppa and work through our Early Autumn dishes. Enjoy!
Crunchy and apple-like in texture and flavour, Jicama makes a wonderful addition to salads. You can cook it, but I love it raw.
This salad combines Jicama with green mango and optionally red or white radish as well. The green mango-chilli-lime component is a great set of flavours commonly found in Mexico and in South East Asia.
Jicama is rarely available here except in the best Asian Groceries and Green Groceries. Its season is Autumn through early spring, so I grab one or two when I see them. These past months I have been lucky enough to locate and exceptional Asian market and they have them regularly.
Are you looking for more Jicama recipes? Try Jicama Salad with Cucumber and Lime, Pickled Jicama, Vegetable Sticks with Spices, Spicy Radish and Jicama Salad with Coconut Milk, and Lightly Pickled Jicama Salad with Citrus.
Or Green Mango recipes? Try Mango and Pineapple Salad, Pomelo, Green Mango and Pea Eggplant Salad with Herbs and Tamarind Dressing, Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad, Pomelo and Green Mango Salad, and White Peas and Green Mango Sundal.
You might like to try other Bittman Salads. They include Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Mozzarella and White Beans, Cucumber Salad with Capers and Ricotta, and Fig and Almond Salad.
Are you still looking for more? Browse all of our Salad recipes here, our Green Mango dishes here, and all Jicama Recipes here. All of the Bittman Salads are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes here.
Jicama is not a cheap vegetable, but boy it is good, and one Jicama will often make 2 or 3 dishes. A couple of salads for example. Or just eat it on its own with salt and lime juice.
The jicama I picked up today from the local Asian Grocery is young and beautiful. It must be the beginning of the Jicama season. Never choose one that is wrinkled, damaged, with mouldy or sunken spots. Ewk!
This recipe is a quickish pickle that will sit in the fridge easily for a week or more. So just adjust the recipe to the amount that you think you will eat in that time.