Friday, July 5, 2013

Kohlrabi Slaw

Perhaps I should have called this post "What the heck am I going to do with that?" or "What to make with the strange things in your CSA box." As I mentioned in my last post I am sharing a CSA box with my cousin and his wife. We have been getting delicious vegetables, lots of greens. We haven't had much sun in Maine, well we have had sun but we have also had A LOT OF RAIN. Like MEGA downpours and thunderstorms. The gardens around here have been a bit, um, damp. So we are just starting to see things like peas and summer squash. One vegetable that we have gotten for the past few weeks is purple kohlrabi. What is kohlrabi? Well apparently a lot of people who get CSA boxes ask the same thing.
After sifting through a whole bunch of articles and recipes I found some interesting recipes for kohlrabi slaw. Even Martha Stewart has one! Now I need to explain something. I am not a big fan of coleslaw. I have just recently starting eating it again. One of those traumatic food experiences.

For a few summers when I was in college I worked for a lobster bake company. The kind of lobster bake company that brings everything to your house, beach, wedding and creates a Maine lobster bake just for you. The real deal with seaweed, clams, lobsters, potatoes and corn. No we didn't dig a hole, start a fire in the bottom and then dump everything in. We had huge metal sheets with handles on them that we built a fire underneath piled on the seaweed then then, following a specific map, we set up everything else and covered it with more seaweed. And set the huge pile of firewood under the metal sheet on fire. Like big time fire. Like everyone always had to wear work boots and pants kind of fire. Anyway I've strayed away from coleslaw. We also had a grill and did chicken and steak. When people hired us to bring the grill along with the lobster bake we brought coleslaw. I was lucky enough to be the one that made the coleslaw. Hotel pans of it. Not sure what a hotel pan is? It's big. It's a lot of coleslaw. It's a lot of coleslaw that was made with Miracle Whip and mixed by hand. By hand I mean my hands in plastic gloves tossing the shredded cabbage and Miracle Whip and the other "secret ingredients." Now that you have that lovely visual seared into your brain I am sure you can imagine why I may have opted not to eat coleslaw for a few years, like almost ten.

Let's regroup. Let's talk about a vinegary coleslaw, kohl-slaw in this case, which is an entirely different beast. It's a little sweet, nice and tangy and majorly crunchy. And you get to work on your knife skills. Unless you have a fancy veggie shredder thing. I don't. I have a chef's knife and a cutting board. If that is what you have too don't worry about it, worked just fine for me!

So kohlrabi slaw. A good thing to make this time of year, especially if you are getting these Martian like vegetables in your CSA boxes. It's a good thing to make when it is a million degrees outside with 60% or higher humidity. A good thing to bring to a picnic or a pig roast or whatever summery adventures you have lined up.

What you'll need:

1 kohlrabi, purple or green, leaves and ends trimmed off
1 large carrot, peeled
2 salad turnips (another veggie from the CSA that I needed to use up)

Chop all of the veggies into matchsticks. This is where your knife practice comes in. I'd start with the kohlrabi, it's the easiest to manage.

While I was chopping it as getting hotter and hotter in my kitchen. And not "That Hansel, he's so hot right now!" hot but surface of the sun hot. Thank goodness this didn't require me going anywhere near the oven! It actually required that I walk over to the fridge and stand in front of the open door. A couple of times.

Check out those matchsticks!

Now the dressing, nothing was exact but I ended up with 1/2 a cup of dressing when it was all mixed together. Feel free to adjust any of the dressing ingredients to your taste, just make sure to have 1/2 a cup when you are done.

In a measuring cup combine:

1 TBLS finely chopped red onion
1 TBLS honey
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 or more TBLS cider vinegar
2 or more TBLS sunflower oil

Mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork and pour over the vegetables. If you want the onion to be less sharp you can let it sit in the vinegar and lemon juice for a bit before you add the rest of the dressing ingredients.

Toss everything together and pop it back into the fridge. You want it to be nice and cold when you serve it. Cold and crunchy and vinegary.

Serve it up with your usual picnic fare - burgers, dogs, kebabs. It will be a hit and it's a good way to use that strange looking vegetable that tastes like cabbage and broccoli stems that has been sitting in your vegetable drawer for a week because you weren't sure what to do with it when it showed up in your CSA box.

Enjoy! And do your best to stay cool through this heat wave!

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