Sometimes it is advisable to avoid the unknown. And sometimes you just have to stop being so yellow-bellied and confront your fears. Especially if your fear is merely an unfamiliar vegetable. And double especially if you can smear it in bacon grease.
I had picked up some kohlrabi from our CSA a while ago, no longer able to pass them off to Allison, who we share with, because she’d had enough. The truth is, I had no idea what a kohlrabi was, and in the frenzy that is the fall, dealing with the familiar hazards of life as a full time working single parent of a kindergartener, I didn’t have time for a new relationship. At least not a relationship with an unfamiliar vegetable. So I ignored them in the hopes that, like an annoying suitor, they would get the message and go away. “She’s just not that into you.”
But time passed and there were the neglected kohlrabi in their sturdy stubbornness, sitting in the fridge where I was pretty sure they would keep for a couple of weeks. I reluctantly turned my attention to their patient purple selves. And I was rewarded!
First I consulted A Field Guide to Produce, my bible for the market by Aliza Green where I found that it is a member of the Brassica family like cabbage, and that you could add it raw to salads. I figured that was an easy enough start, pared off the thick peel of one and grated it into a salad. Big success! It was cool and crunchy like radish, but without the bite; just a really pleasant addition to the flavor and texture. Thus emboldened, I decided to invent the following salad with cozy autumnal flavors, but with some refreshing crispness too.
Full disclosure: My mom, who usually likes whatever I make gave this a thumbs down. “Too much bacon flavor,” she said. Which to me is a thumbs up (Too much bacon? Really?). She pushed it to the side of her plate. For the dad, enabler that I am, I gave him his own vegan serving, raw with no saute in bacon or any other fat. He quite liked it. Leandro? He ate linguini with spinach and I didn’t even attempt to get him to try this. He’d already had bacon for breakfast anyway.
So I, who quite liked it, will have plenty to take to the office tomorrow.
I am now out of kohlrabi, but absolutely ready to take this new relationship to the next level. I may have to update my Facebook status for this one.
Warm Kohlrabi, Cabbage and Apple Salad
1 Cup kohlrabi, pared and chopped into small cubes
1 Cup apple, peeled and chopped into small cubes
2 tsp bacon grease
1 Cup cabbage, cut into small squares
1 Tbs chopped onion
3 Tbs roasted sunflower seeds
Salt to taste
Place kohlrabi and apple in a bowl. In a small skillet, heat the bacon grease until liquid at medium heat. Add the cabbage and the onion, stir to coat, and sauté until very wilted. Add to the bowl and stir to combine. Stir in sunflower seeds, salt to taste, and serve warm.