I am frequently asked how I choose and develop my recipes. My creative process often begins at the Farmer’s Market. My local supermarket carries kohlrabi, which comes neatly trimmed with its leaves and stems cut off. When I first saw kohlrabi at the Farmer’s market, I was fascinated. My first response was wonder, followed by, “I have to paint this!” This resulted in much experimentation. The leaves would begin to wilt before I finished my painting. I would then try a new kohlrabi recipe. This was followed by purchasing more kohlrabi, resuming my painting, and trying more recipes.
I love botanical painting and I recently finished my watercolor of kohlrabi. I spent the summer painting outside, and was often stopped. This was people’s most common reaction: “That’s beautiful! But – what is it?” Sometimes I was told, “I love your plant.” Hmmmm. So – what exactly is kohlrabi? Kohlrabi is a quirky looking vegetable tat resembles a green Sputnik. The vibrant leaves have long stems. Buying kohlrabi with its leaves intact allows you to see the freshness of the vegetable. Wilted leaves – not so fresh.
This vegetable version of Sputnik is not a root vegetable. Its bulbous portions actually grow above the ground. Kohlrabi is a member of the Brassica family, which includes Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Yup – it’s part of the cabbage family.
Kohlrabi may be eaten raw or cooked. It has a thick skin. The best way to remove the skin is to use a knife rather than a vegetable peeler. Kohlrabi has a mild sweetness and lots of crunch. Along with this yummy goodness, comes a lot of antioxidants. For this recipe, I chose to cut the kohlrabi into cubes and make a Waldorf salad.
I added pomegranate seeds for flavor and to up the ante in terms of antioxidants. I used some of the local varieties of apples that are now available. Some of the combinations I tried were Jonagold and crispin, or granny smith and honeycrisp. I love the combination of sweet with tangy. There are so many wonderful varieties of apples, so feel free to play around!
The dressing for this Waldorf salad is made with Greek yogurt and honey. A dairy-free version can be made by substituting a soy-based yogurt or a coconut milk yogurt alternative for the Greek yogurt. My family didn’t even tell the difference! Enjoy!
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