The only time in my life that I’ve eaten salads with any regularity was in college; I’d head to the dining hall each day and load up a plastic container with romaine lettuce, chickpeas, shredded cheddar cheese, and neon pink “low-fat red wine vinaigrette”. I’d scoop it all into half of a pita pocket and that was lunch.
Now that I receive lots of greens my weekly CSA box, I’m once again putting salads into regular rotation – besides, it’s too hot to think about wanting to eat anything else. Thankfully, my salads (like me) have evolved a bit since those college days.
Enter the two bulbs of purple kohlrabi that arrived in my CSA box last week. I needed to spend some quality time on Google in order to figure out what to do with these little alien vegetables and eventually started to get excited at the possibilities; sadly, a few days later my enthusiasm waned and I mostly hoped they would just disappear from my crisper drawer.
When I started to make a salad out of some baby arugula (also from the CSA box), I figured I should make hay while the sun shines and somehow incorporate the kohlrabi in there. At first, I considered thinly shaving the peeled bulbs on a mandoline and topping the salad with the raw slices, but instead decided instead to crank my oven up to 425 degrees (despite the 92 degree temps outside), cut the kohlrabi into cubes and roast them with olive oil and smoked paprika.
It was worth suffering through the blazing inferno that was my kitchen while the kohlrabi roasted because wow, was it good! Kohlrabi, when cooked, tastes like a cross between cabbage and cauliflower. It’s slightly sweet, making it the perfect companion for peppery arugula. I topped the salad with some golden raisins and slivered roasted almonds and quickly put together some dijon maple vinaigrette to toss everything with.
The salad was so ridiculously tasty that I ate half the “serves 4″ finished product and I’m already looking forward to lunch today so I can polish off the rest.
This would be a great salad to make for a 4th of July BBQ or potluck, by the way. It looks pretty on the table too, which doesn’t hurt!
- 2 medium sized bulbs purple kohlrabi
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
- 4-5 cups baby arugula
- ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- ¼ cup golden raisins (dried cranberries or cherries might be nice here, too!)
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons dijon mustard
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove the stem/greens from kohlrabi and trim the base root. Peel the kohlrabi and cut into rough 1″ pieces.
- In a medium sized bowl, toss the kohlrabi pieces with salt, smoked paprika, and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil until thoroughly coated. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and place in preheated oven. Roast for 15-17 minutes, tossing once half way through cooking time, until golden brown and fork tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large serving platter or bowl, add arugula and top with warm kohlrabi, toasted slivered almonds and golden raisins.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine the lemon juice, dijon mustard, ¾ cup of olive oil, maple syrup and salt in an empty jar. Shake vigorously until combined.
- Dress salad with vinaigrette to taste. Serve immediately.